Our family has had an Adoration hour at seven pm on Saturday nights for the past twelve years. We picked this time because it’s on a weekend which is hard to fill. Since we are home-bodies and don’t go out often on the weekend. it is a good time for us. It has been a blessing in ways I can’t begin to count. This is not to say the hour has always been easy, but sometimes blessings come from the hardest lessons.
Then little children were brought to him that he might lay hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (Matt. 19:13-14)
A Noisy Adoration
When I was about six months pregnant with our daughter, my husband and two young sons were praying together at Adoration. Since no one typically came in on a Saturday, we were in the habit of praying the Rosary out loud together. As we were finishing up, a woman with her elderly father came in. They were put out by our oral prayers and made their displeasure known. We finished, apologized and told them we would keep them in our prayers. We were trying to be charitable. Their response made it quite clear this was no way to act in front of The Blessed Sacrament. The rest of the hour was completed in total silence except for the sniffles of myself and our two young sons.
Each Saturday thereafter, these two adorers would come in during our hour and expected complete silence. Not an easy thing to accomplish for a young family. My husband and I decided God had put them with us for a reason. It was our duty to pray for them (silently of course) and to be thankful they were there with us. Our daughter was born some months after. I was concerned about bringing her with us but the concern was needless. As she grew and began to crawl and explore the little chapel, something miraculous happened. The quiet woman who had become our Saturday night companion did something beautiful. She smiled. The little child crawling, smiling, playing at the feet of Jesus warmed this woman’s heart and soul. Our Eucharistic Lord knew exactly what He was about and brought healing to all of our hearts. Every time I see her at Mass, I am reminded of how good the Lord is in humbling us.
Likewise, you younger members, be subject to the presbyters. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: ‘God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. (1 Peter 5: 5-6)
Teaching the Rosary
Not long ago a woman on Facebook, Ramona, posted something which occurred at Adoration a few years back. She said, “You are an amazing woman of God. I will always remember you as the woman who taught me to pray the rosary.” The incident she was referring to is forever in my mind as well. The thing is, what she and I remember are a bit different. You see, on the day we met, my family was already ahead of me and settled in at Adoration. I was running late. I was really hoping we would catch a break and be able to pray our family Rosary together, out loud. I was praying as I went, “Please Lord, don’t let anyone come in. Let us be alone with You.” As I approached, a car pulled up, and I confess I actually prayed whoever it was would not come in. At first, no one else was there besides my family, so we grabbed the chance to begin our Rosary. It wasn’t long before the sweet woman from the parking lot walked in and sat quietly on the floor in the back. She was flipping through spiritual books and pamphlets on the shelf and while she did, we quieted ourselves. To be honest I was feeling put-out.
After a few moments, my husband broke the silence and told her we were about to start the Rosary. He asked if she would like to join us? She thanked us. She had been wanting to learn how to pray the Rosary, and had been praying someone would teach her! Talk about humbling. I quickly realized just how selfish I had been. Each time I saw her I wondered if she remembered. I hoped and prayed she never discovered what I had been thinking. Sorry, Ramona, I was not the amazing woman you thought I was.
I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. ( Matt 18: 19-20)
Then there is Ann who has had her share of struggles. One of those struggles was a dinged-up car she called her penance. It was only replaced when she inherited her sister’s car. Ann had cared for and prayed with her sister who had lost the battle of cancer. She would bring all her prayers to the feet of our Eucharistic Lord. She loves to pray aloud with anyone who walks in His door. Many an hour she has spent with Him in prayer when no one else is scheduled to adore. Often when I feel the need to fly with some urgent prayer to Adoration, Ann is there, ready to receive me. Her words are kind and encouraging; her prayers spring up from the depths of her soul. It’s like being at Our Lady’s side.
Years ago, I was preparing to cantor for the funeral of the son of a dear friend of mine. I thought I could sing and not break down. As I walked into the church, I realized I was much weaker than I thought. Ann was there and with the words of a comforting mother said, “You’re going to sing beautifully for the Lord and you’re not going to cry until you’ve sung the last note.” She was spot on and as I finished the last note, I remembered her words and the tears flowed. Only with someone who has spent as much time in Adoration as Ann has can offer comforting words like this.
Saved In Front The Blessed Sacrament
We all have been hurt and we all need to bring it all to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. We need quiet, and time alone with Him. But, each soul who comes through the door of the chapel is a gift whom He wants to give us; someone whose needs are as critical as our own, maybe more so. There will be times when we receive the silence with Him that we crave and times there may be quite a bit of talking going on. So many lives have been saved because of those who pray in front of the Eucharist and so many humbled.
As for me, I am in eternal debt to those who have imposed and interrupted my selfishness and allowed God to transform me. Maybe someday Ramona will be right and I will be an amazing woman of God. I’ll keep hoping and will be on the lookout for whoever He wants to use to do it, every Saturday night.