Parish Stories

St. Anthony of the Desert

Fall River, MA Maronite Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn


“The first step is showing up”

Rita Saikali

Across a crowded room, you see Him. He sees you. Your eyes lock, and for a moment, just a brief singular moment, time is suspended. Both are filled with a joy that communicates everything yet says nothing in words. 
That is adoration. 
Adoration begins as any other relationship does, with taking a risk and saying yes to someone you find interesting. “Yes, I’ll go out on a date with you. Yes, let’s grab some coffee. Yes, you can have my phone number.” 
And thus it all begins. 
You text, you date, you fall in love, you start your vocation together and the story continues. 
As in the physical world, so it is in the spiritual world. The way you get to know this person is by spending more time with them; the way you get to know God is by spending more time with Him. 
At adoration you do just that all while opening your heart and soul to the pinnacle of love. Day after day, it begins to transform you first internally, and later affects every action that you take. 
Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. At adoration, you spend time with Christ. You get to know Him, and the “Him” is God in the flesh. In the process you get to know yourself because when you speak to the artist, you get to know the masterpiece on an intimate level. 
There you converse with God just as the disciples did. With the Bible in your hands and God before you in the Eucharist He speaks to you using the same words He used to speak to them; that are intimate and personal to you. 
There you present your questions and concerns to the living God. You before Him and Him before you, not as a judge before the defendant, but as mercy before darkness and desolation. 
Adoration will enrich your life in many ways. They say you are the sum of the five people you hang out with; imagine the kind of person you become when God is among those five. 
Wisdom is subject to Him; He will hand it to you slowly and surely! You find that as years go by you learn profound pieces of wisdom that you add to your collection of graces. 
The words sound poetic, but the reality is as in any relationship, this too requires discipline, hard work, and sacrifices, but most importantly it requires love and the willingness to invest in that love and take it to the next level. 
The first step is showing up. Showing up consistently creates discipline, and that discipline becomes a habit, and that habit becomes a devotion. 
The first 10 minutes of your Holy Hour aren’t easy. Your mind is still running at full speed. You take a seat and remember 1001 things that need to get done. All of them seem urgent. Power through it. Silence your mind. Open your heart to receive Christ who is with you in the flesh at that very moment. The results will be incredible! 
You will grow in love, in grace, in joy, in life, and in all that is good. Your outer self will look the same, but your inner self is polished. Like a diamond, once it’s polished, presented, and in the light, it shines profoundly. 
Adoration may seem most ordinary; there is nothing going on in that small chapel, yet day after day the same people come by because they experience what is divine. You can too! There Christ is with you; across the not-so-crowded room of the chapel dare to fall in love. Your soul will soar.

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Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.

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