Sunday, August 25, 2013

Really present - really

 For the LORD takes delight in his people... - Psalm 149:4a

Adoration  By Sr. Sarah Hennessey, FSPA - 8/23/13 (Sacred Heart Parish- St Mary's School ~ Owatonna, Minnesota (USA).  Sr Sarah is a former Quaker.)
My family never understood adoration. My friends even less. As a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, the medal around my neck portrays a monstrance. Most people have no idea what it is. And if I try to explain that it "holds the Blessed Sacrament exposed" people get even more confused.
I want them to get it but I do not know even how to begin.
Jesus loves us so much that his true and glorified body becomes really present under the simple sign of bread. He wants us totally and as gift he lets us gaze upon him in the consecrated host. Jesus' resurrection really happened and because of that he is able to remain with us through the grace of the Eucharist. Gazing upon him is suddenly intimate and healing and calming and an intense way to experience Real Presence.
My first experience of adoration was before I even knew about a tabernacle. I sat before this box in a Catholic church and was filled with a warm spirit of love and peace. My heart burned with love for the Eucharist and I began my journey to became Catholic.  Jesus is really here and he wants me to just spend time with him. Often I find that people new to the Catholic Church, or someone in trouble just come off the street, or someone like my Methodist grandfather discover they have a hunger for adoration. It may not make sense or fit into the brain but Jesus' presence is real.
What do you do in adoration? Just ask a child. The fourth graders at St. Mary's told me all the ways that they like to spend time with Jesus. I love this list of "25 Ways to Spend an Hour with Jesus."
My Franciscan community has been praying in adoration around the clock for 135 years and eight days. At each hour when we change adorers we stand and pray together a prayer that I think says it all:
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine
All Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, grant Peace to the World

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

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