“That doesn't take away from anything that I am”
I originally came from Northern Illinois. I moved to this area in 1978, and I joined a prayer group at the Shrine of the Little Flower. They started the adoration chapel at Shrine, I think that was in 1987. One of the women who was helping with it knew me personally and asked if I would like to do it. I said, ‘Sure,’ you know. I believe the sacrament and that it truly is him, and so I’ve faithfully been doing that for now coming on probably 35, 36 years. In the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, it was a physical thing, not just not an imaginary thing.
Saturday mornings, 7 a.m. I was there at the chapel. Fast forward to 2019, we moved to St. Louise de Marillac Parish on 12 mile. I changed my prayer routine around. I decided that before I went to work in the gym and everything else, I was going to be at the adoration chapel. I was just starting to get closer and closer and just developed this intense desire to have him more.
And then the COVID lockdowns happened and I reached the point in my life where it's, ‘Okay, Jesus, you deserve everything.’
We're locked out of the church, locked out of the chapel. The chapel remained closed for, I don't know, a year. So those are tough times. But at the same time, the intensity of that time drove me closer to God. It was like, ‘Wow, things are getting out of control in the world. I've got to really get serious about my faith, my walk with Christ.’ So I decided that I needed to dedicate a complete hour a day to prayer. The only hour I can get is the hour before I get up in the morning, so I started getting up at like four in the morning.
My prayer life up to this point had been prayer and working out, prayer bike riding, prayer and driving my car to work, prayer and doing this and that. The idea of total, complete, nothing else going on – it was a new concept, let's say.
So I couldn't go to the chapel, but I found out that on YouTube you can get live adoration. You can just bring up the Blessed Sacrament and it's live, I mean, sometimes you see people walking by and stuff. I said, ‘Well, this is as good as it gets.’ So I had my own little prayer chapel at home, in the dark or in the morning, just adoring him. That has just enormously increased my love for him.
Now, every day on my way home from work, I stop in at the chapel at St. Louise, just to give him thanks for 15 minutes. That's another big bonus: being able to set aside and give him what we owe him, give him his due, that doesn't take away from anything that I am.