By Christine Bordelon
For about three years now, I have been a weekly adorer at my parish’s adoration chapel.
Before I committed to a regular schedule, I would go to adoration occasionally when I felt a strong need just to be calmed in God’s presence. My first few times, I dropped in the chapel during rough patches in life or to pray for my children’s safe travels or successful medical procedures.
I didn’t think I could ever get used to being quiet for an hour straight as an adorer. But, with God’s tugging on my heart, I signed up and learned that I can.
I now realize just what I was missing.
Adoration has become my time to bring all my stuff – my joyful times, my headaches and my thanks – to God. It’s my time to build my relationship with him a little at a time. I usually start with a rosary and bring along a religious book that will enrich my understanding of my faith in some way. I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I can just sit and be still. (I’m working on it.)
As the Archdiocese of New Orleans has been explaining since January in our “Year of the Eucharist,” we as Catholics should truly understand that God is present in the Eucharist placed in the monstrance at adoration and in the holy Communion we receive at Mass. It is not just a symbol as other Christians believe. It is Jesus who died for us. For Catholics, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic faith.
Attending Mass each week and receiving the Eucharist shouldn’t just be a habit or thought of as an obligation. If we believe that Christ is in the Eucharist, we should realize that we are actually carrying Christ home within us after each Mass. Christ’s body is there to nourish us as we trudge through the daily routine of our lives. We just need to let him in.
The COVID-19 pandemic halted the opportunity we had to weekly receive Christ, and I and many others truly recognized this loss. It just wasn’t the same saying the Spiritual Communion prayer at home when it came time for Communion while watching the livestreamed Mass. Yet, it was all we had at the time.
In our archdiocese, we are lucky to have multiple adoration chapels. If you haven’t ever tried adoration, please do, even if it’s only for a few minutes the first few times you go. Better yet, commit to being an adorer. It really can be a source of calm in your soul, if only for that hour each week. If you are too busy now, pencil in Sept. 15 on your calendar. This will be the next archdiocesan-wide adoration night at all parishes. You won’t regret it.
This helpful 2019 video about prayer by Father Mike Schmitz through Ascension Press came up just as I finished this blog. It may help you get started. https://bit.ly/3imSmiC
To find out if a church near you has adoration, go to https://nolacatholic.org/parishfinder for individual parishes.