Ask those who are no longer Catholic what they miss the most. Many of them will tell you that they miss the Eucharist, the Mass. Among the treasures that the Risen Lord left with His Church, none is more precious than the Holy Eucharist because in the Sacrament of the Altar He left us Himself. In giving us this gift, the Lord fulfilled the promise He made to His disciples on the day of His ascension: “I will be with you till the end of time.” While we appreciate deeply the centrality of the Sacrifice of the Mass, we also cherish the presence of the Master in the tabernacle.
One of the best gifts that have been given to me as pastor is the Adoration Chapel. I firmly believe that Heaven showers numerous blessings on our parish community because of the incessant prayers of many committed adorers and others who spend time with the Eucharistic Lord. Our chapel which is open 24/7 is in sync with the magnificent Eucharistic chapel in St Peter’s Basilica. Pope John Paul II – who incidentally will be declared a saint in a couple of weeks – brought nuns to the Vatican and their principal duty is to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. The holy Pontiff was convinced that their prayers were essential for the good of the Universal Church.
Often in passing I have encouraged you to pray at the adoration chapel. Today I would like to make a clear and deliberate appeal. If you want to grow in your spiritual life, if you desire to draw closer to the Lord, find the time to be an adorer. Even if you are not able to be a committed adorer right away, you can start by becoming a regular visitor to the chapel. If you have never considered adoration as a path to holiness, I would like to encourage you to try it.
I would like to offer some simple tips on how to benefit from your time before the Lord.
Take small steps. Many individuals are very ambitious and they want to spend an hour as they start out. Start by spending just ten minutes. It will be easier for you to keep yourself focused. Once you feel comfortable with a short period, then you can increase the time.
Keep a particular focus for each period of prayer. You can do this either by dedicating your prayer to a particular intention or by adopting one particular type of prayer. For example, you can use your time for the intentions of the Holy Father or the spiritual well-being of your children. Perhaps you can use your time to intercede for people or ask the Lord for His mercy. You can also spend the entire thanking God for His blessings.
Prepare yourself before you enter the chapel. We often get distracted because we do not prepare ourselves for prayer. When we enter the chapel, we need to leave all our cares and concerns outside the door. We cannot keep our phones on vibrate and expect to hear God’s voice. Our ears are still waiting to hear the voices of the world.
Plan your time. Do not walk into the chapel without a plan. After your initial prayers of adoration and praise, you can sit comfortably and read the Scriptures or some spiritual book. You can pray the Rosary. You can also use prayers written by others. The better we are prepared to engage ourselves meaningfully in prayer, the more satisfied we will feel and more desire we will have to return.
Run to the chapel in moments of need or crisis. I have always found the Eucharistic Lord to be the greatest source of comfort in moments of crisis. When my cardiologist told me fourteen years ago that I had some serious heart condition, I was scared. But once I had spent some prayer time before the Eucharistic Lord I felt both relieved and reassured.
Bask in His presence. Sometimes we do not need to do anything in particular. We can just bask in His presence. There is a story told in the life of the great Cure’ of Ars. A woman used to come into his parish church and just sit there, staring at the Tabernacle. One day the saint approached the woman and asked her, “Are you praying? Your lips are not moving. You are just staring at the altar.” She replied: “Yes, I am praying. I look at Him and He looks at me.” What a heartwarming way to pray! Sometimes all we need to do is to spend quiet time in His presence, just looking at Him.
I hope you can begin to frequent our adoration chapel which is a boon to our spiritual growth. Maybe you will eventually become a committed adorer. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord!
The words of Martha to her sister Mary are addressed to each one of us: “The Master is here and He is calling you!” Will we hear His voice and spend some time in His presence in the remaining days of Lent?
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...