Every seat was taken. I peered through the frosted glass doors once again, hoping I hadn’t seen correctly. But there was no mistaking it: the Adoration chapel was at full capacity.
Crushed, I walked back to my car as the desperate need to be in Christ’s presence enveloped me in a deluge of tears. Taking out my journal, I poured out my heart to Him and waited.
Nearly an hour later, I walked back inside. In my sobbing state, I hadn’t noticed the adorers slowly departing. Now, just one other woman remained. I knelt in front of the monstrance and allowed Christ’s Eucharistic gaze to wash over me. After a while, I heard shuffling as the other woman gathered her things and left.
Suddenly I was faced with a realization: the next scheduled adorer hadn’t shown up. Stunned, I just sat there in front of the Eucharist, not knowing what to say or do. Believe it or not, this was my first time ever being alone with the Blessed Sacrament. Sure, I often had virtual Holy Hours at home by myself, but this was different. Here I was, being handed a face to face, one-on-one encounter with the Word Made Flesh.
Not wanting to waste this precious moment, I asked Him, “Lord, what do You want to say to me? What do you want me to say to you?” The words I heard Christ speak to my heart are only for Him and I (and my spiritual director) to share. But what I can tell you is that His words—and my honest response to them—were the catalyst in a journey toward full healing of which I am still reaping the fruits.
I am telling you all this because I truly believe that Jesus divinely arranged to be alone with me, His beloved daughter, at this particular time and place. He knew what it would take to open my mind and heart to experience a life-changing encounter with Him. The truth is, had I come into the chapel when I originally planned, when it was packed with adorers, I never would have been able to communicate my feelings to Christ in such a personal, intimate way.
Maybe you’ve never been inside an Adoration chapel. Maybe you’re not sure what the purpose of adoration is or why it’s even important.
The answer lies in the prayer of the priest, spoken at every Mass during the consecration: “This is My Body…this is My Blood.”
In the Blessed Sacrament, it is Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity that is really and truly present. As Catholics, we adore and receive Jesus’ Real Presence in communion, and we can continue to adore Him in all the tabernacles around the world.
During Eucharistic Adoration, we pray to Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist, typically exposed in a monstrance. If the concept of praying to the God of the Universe under the guise of a tiny white host is hard for you to grasp, ask the Spirit for guidance. And keep showing up! My first time at adoration was super uncomfortable and awkward (almost like a clumsy first date!) but I simply asked Jesus to draw me back to Him, and now there is no other place I’d rather be.
Spending time in Christ’s presence is a deeply transformative practice, and there are no rules when it comes to prayer. You can recite the Rosary, read Scripture, or simply speak to Him about everything that’s on your heart. Use this opportunity to tell Him your own needs, as well as the needs of your family, your friends, and the world. It is also important to just sit in God’s presence and listen.
The Eucharist is the gift of Christ’s very self, perpetually offered out of love. Silent and vulnerable, He subjects Himself to irreverence, ignorance, indifference, and unbelief—all for the sake of remaining with us on the altar.
Through an unexpected grace, Christ cleared the chapel for me that day, and He has set apart a place specifically for you. In the words of St. Maria Goretti, “He loves, He hopes, He waits.”
Jesus is waiting for you, thirsting for a personal relationship with you. So make time with Him a priority. Run to Him. Seek His ever-abiding presence. Allow His all-consuming love to penetrate your soul.
And then sit back as He transforms your prayer and your life.
Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you- for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart.St. Therese of Liseiux