Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One-on-One Time with God

Adoration, or Eucharistic Exposition, is often one of the most overlooked forms of prayer. Adoration is a time of silent worship and contemplation before the exposed Eucharist – the Body of our Lord. While not a sacrament itself, it is a form of prayer from which we receive great graces. When we consider what Adoration truly is, it seems that it is exactly what we are striving for in heaven – to be fully in the presence of God. Why is it, then, that we are not constantly running to Adoration? Why is it not a place we visit daily?

Adoration is a form of prayer that uniquely places an emphasis on you and your relationship with God. We are not caught up in the recitation of prayers or worrying that we remember the exact phrasing of the new mass translations, we are silent and we are solely in the focus of God. This is not to say that the rosary or the Mass are lesser forms of prayer, the mass is the greatest; rather it is to emphasize the different qualities of Adoration and to suggest that perhaps we need to start incorporating this form of prayer into our faith lives as well.

In some ways we can think of our relationship with God as a child in a large family. Being in a large family is fantastic – I can attest to this fact being from a family of seven children! There are many perks to being in a large family, there is always someone around to help you out or to go along with your stupid ideas. However, just like coming from a small family, that one-on-one relationship with your parents is so important and helps you grow like no other relationship can. In our faith lives, we need to make sure that we make time for that one on one relationship, time to seek God in the quiet and still and to focus just on you and Him.

Attending a half hour or hour of Adoration can oftentimes be difficult for us. We are so used to constantly being entertained-- texting, calling, FB updates, tweets and music! We have been trained to hate the silence and to never purposely “go off the grid” and not check our phones for an entire hour! In the beginning of this semester I realized that I did not start classes on Tuesday and Thursday until 12:30pm. While it sounds like every college student’s dream, I knew I’d have a hard time being productive before class if I didn’t have an extra motivating factor. Having heard about adoration sign-ups last year I decided to give it a try this year and sign up for a Thursday morning slot to at least get my day started a little earlier. In the beginning, I had a very hard time concentrating. Not sure what to do for an entire thirty minutes, I tried to completely rid my mind – it did not work very well, I tend to overanalyze just about everything. I cannot tell you exactly what it is that has kept me coming back, except that I knew I had an obligation to be there since I had signed up. I can, however, attest to the fact that I’ve always left feeling better and I’ve come to look forward to that silent time, a time of reflection and listening. As I continually try to unravel my thoughts into a cohesive prayer, I’ve come to realize that the beauty of Adoration is that we don’t have to come before God as something that we are not. We should bring all our worries, our troubles, and our exciting news, and we should lay it before the Lord. This is not to say that we should not try to focus on the Eucharist but that we should approach this time with God as a time to stop, tell God what is on our mind, and listen to what He has to say – just as we would with a parent.

Mother Teresa was perhaps one of the biggest advocates of Adoration. She once said, “Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there.  If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that Adoration.The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth.  Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about everlasting peace on earth.”

Together, we should challenge ourselves and our friends to spend this time with Jesus – to take time out of our hectic schedules so that we too can better understand His love and His path for our lives.

Adoration is available on campus Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Coleman-Morse Chapel) and
Friday: 12 – 5 p.m. (Basilica, Lady Chapel)

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