The Eucharist is described in the catechism as the ‘source and summit’ of our faith. Finding the time to go to Adoration can be difficult. But if you can make it happen, committing to regular Adoration with an open heart can have some surprising results.
While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. (Mark 14:22-24)
In today’s culture, the idea of interior progress is drastically undervalued; many times it’s considered a waste of time or something from our naive ancestors. Usually, only exterior and more palpable progress is worth anything. The main difference between the two (material and spiritual) is that material progress remains outside of you. It will offer you certain positive sensations, yet it is always colored with a fleeting and inconsistent kind of occurrence. An interior progress, on the other hand, means that it is you who are changed. The time you spend adoration may surprise you these ten ways:
1. You develop a sense of awe and wonder
© Rino Peroni/Flickr
There is nothing like the atmosphere of a quiet chapel or church, the smell of incense and the splendour of the monstrance to help you understand the truth of what is happening in Adoration. We are truly before Jesus Christ, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The more you sink into that silence in front of the Host, the more you’ll realize that the only response is awe and wonder at the greatness of our God.
2. You experience peace in other areas of your life
© Pete Slater/ Flickr
Jesus said “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” (John 14:27) The outward peace we can experience in Adoration (the quiet and the stillness) reaches much deeper. It leads to an inner peace that affects all areas of our lives. It doesn’t mean everything in our life will be perfect and without suffering, but Christ’s peace means that we know that the storms of life can’t shake us.
3. You begin to look outwardly
© Ronnie Macdonald/ Flickr
Jesus told us to “love one another as I have loved you”. (John 13:34) Spending time in Adoration connects us to the whole world – after all, we’re spending time with the Creator of all things! More time praising and adoring God means you can look beyond your own concerns and see the needs of others in your life and in the world that we live in.
4. You get bored sometimes
© Stuart Richards/ Flickr
There are going to be times when Adoration can feel anything but glorious. You get distracted, your mind begins to wander, you can hear someone else sniffing next to you. Maybe in the beginning Adoration was full of wonderful feelings! Regular Adoration is when daily life sets in and it can make it feel not so special. But that doesn’t devalue or take away from the truth of what Adoration is. Our faith is more than feelings and God will still be working in you. This is the beauty of the Incarnation – God made man, coming into all our stresses, fears, problems – and yes, boredom. Know that even if an hour spent in Adoration is a continual returning to Him every few minutes when your mind wanders, you are still giving God the best gift you can – your time and company.
5. But you become excited going to Adoration
© Alexandre Normand/ Flickr
The more time you spend in Adoration discovering that God is a God who loves you and wants to spend time with you, the more you begin to actually want to go. If Adoration once felt like a chore, you might even find yourself becoming excited to go! Adoration is addictive, not just because of the things we can gain for ourselves, but because we were created to adore. As we say in the Mass, it is “right and just” that we should give thanks to the Lord! Adoration is imprinted on our hearts and “our hearts are restless until they find our rest in Him”! (Thanks, St Augustine!)
6. Grace enters your life
© Theophilos Papadopoulos/ Flickr
It’s amazing how a simple act of committing to even a short time of regular Adoration makes such a huge difference to the rest of your life. You can carry that moment of being in His presence with you long after you’ve left the church or chapel. His grace sustains you in every moment, especially in moments of temptation. Temptation becomes easier to resist when you’re spending more time in Adoration. Sometimes, it really is that straightforward.
7. You realize how fortunate you are
© Raffaele Esposito/ Flickr
If it is as simple for you as getting in the car and driving to Adoration at church, or even walking to the chapel nearby, you realise how much you can take it for granted. There are those who would love to spend more time with Jesus in Adoration but who are housebound, sick or busy parents. Then there are those around the world who actually risk their lives for the Eucharist, in places where they are persecuted for their faith. When you remember those who walk for hours or days in dangerous situations in order to be present with Jesus, you realise what a gift it is to be able to pray openly, not to mention having a priest to minister the sacraments.
8. You realize that God has a sense of humor
© Michael Podger/ Flickr
The more you are able to sit and let God speak to you (instead of spending all your time filling the silence with talking to Him), you’ll find that God has a really good sense of humor. He likes a joke or two, and sometimes these moments are funny enough to make you want to laugh out loud. Surprising, maybe, but don’t the best fathers show you their love by affectionate good humor?!?
9. You want to go to Confession more
© Stròlic Furlàn – Davide Gabino/ Flickr
This might sound scary, but it’s not. Confession allows us to experience the mighty boundless ocean that is God’s mercy. His mercy swallows up all our sins and gives us a true kind of freedom, a freedom without fear, which allows us to make the leap into His love and goodness, complete with all His perfect plans for our life. Time and time again, going to Confession re-enforces the knowledge that we are jumping into the arms of a father who loves us very much and “never tires of forgiving us”. (Pope Francis).
10. You fall in love
© François Philipp/ Flickr
Ultimately, you can’t help this one! When you spend more time with an open heart in Adoration and just let Christ love you, then you’ll fall in love too. That love will define you and allow you to be yourself. “I came that they may have life, life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10)