Monday, April 5, 2010

The Path to a Glorious Easter Season: Reflection IV

I knelt down in prayer as they finished singing the processional hymn and an influx of people came in for a few minutes or so to kneel and say a prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The flow of people slowed down after a time, and the din of whispers and murmurs from the Commons gradually faded into the silence that is supposed to be observed when leaving on Holy Thursday and returning on Good Friday.
I’d read in the church bulletin that their would be Eucharistic Adoration after Holy Thursday Mass until midnight. I decided I would stay there as long as I felt God was calling me to remain with Him, watch and pray. I never checked the clock. For the majority of the time I was there, I just sat and listened.
I was rather amazed that they put out all of the Consecrated Eucharist for Adoration in the Chapel. I can’t remember ever having seen that done before. Usually they will secure all of it in the tabernacle except for the one which goes in the monstrance traditionally used for Eucharistic Adoration. Seeing an abundance of the Most Blessed Sacrament sitting on the Chapel altar brought to mind the Gospel stories about the multiplication of loaves and fishes. I pondered how just one Consecrated Host contains the full presence of Christ, and yet, before me were enough to nourish the souls of thousands in our large parish.
I knew I was in the presence of God. I felt very grateful they offered Adoration at St. Micheal’s. Back in February when I made my Christ Renews His Parish retreat, I felt God telling me that Eucharistic Adoration is one way He wishes to bring me closer to Him. I have indeed found that He comes to me in the silence and moves my soul when I am willing to be still and know.
I thought they might have had people sign up for each hour, so they knew in advance someone would be there until midnight since the exposed Blessed Sacrament cannot be left alone. As it got later I realized that must not have been the case, since John and I were the only ones who remained there and neither of us had signed up on a schedule. Without planning to, we both knelt to say a final silent prayer and finished our prayer time around 11:20 or so. The Director of Liturgy who was sitting out in the Commons thanked us for being there and said she would remain there until midnight.
The reminder that being present is most important helped. So often in relationships, we feel the need to fill the silence with words, but sometimes what’s needed more than anything else is that we simply are present. The words to the song from Lent came to me over and over again, “Stay with me. Remain here with me. Watch and pray, watch and pray.”
Lord, help us to spend time with You each day during which we are truly present and listening.
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