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“I am met with His gaze of love.”

Laura Archbold

The Eucharist has profoundly impacted my life, especially through my experiences with Eucharistic Adoration. For the past three years, I have been a regular Eucharistic Adorer, but the desire to spend quiet time adoring our Lord began with an increasing tug from the Holy Spirit. Before I had a regular scheduled time, I often felt pulled to adore at random moments throughout the day. These unplanned visits have led to some beautiful encounters. 

One particularly memorable experience happened when I was driving home from work. The Holy Spirit moved me to go to church for Adoration. When I arrived, there was only one other person inside. Within ten minutes, a wave of priests began entering the chapel. As I learned later, it was our deanery's monthly holy hour for our priests. It brought tears to my eyes witnessing so many priests adoring together. I was filled with a sense of their sacrifice and at the same time a profound sense of gratitude for all of our priests. 

During Eucharistic Adoration, peace often floods my heart. I am met with His gaze of love, which makes me feel small and overwhelmingly thankful. Eucharistic Adoration has been a source of healing and transformation, filling me with God's love, comfort, peace, and a sense of joy. 

Five years ago, just days before Christmas and four months after my mom had passed away, I felt a deep sense of loss in my heart. One afternoon, I had an overwhelming tug to go to Eucharistic Adoration. When I arrived, I poured out my heart to Jesus, sharing my grief and longing. While I was there, someone outside of the chapel began playing "Silent Night" on the piano. The music in the context of Adoration unlocked a flood of tears, and as I cried, I began to feel a deep sense of peace and closeness with my mom. The emptiness in my heart began to fill with love. Then, as the music changed to "Joy to the World," my heart was filled with a tremendous sense of joy. My mom played the piano and her favorite holiday was Christmas, and I felt like the moment in Adoration was a Christmas gift coming straight from heaven. My heart was flooded with a deep sense of love, where I felt God's love not only for me but also for my mom and our family. 

Eucharistic Adoration allows me to focus on the holy Face of Jesus that brings important silence to my soul. It is through the presence of the Lord that I experience the truth to know the love God has for me and for the whole world.

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“A true gift from my Heavenly Father"

Ann Unger

The Eucharist has always been extremely important in my life and as I grow older, the importance has only grown stronger. 

In 2017, my son was involved in a horrific traffic accident and was life-lined to Parkview Dupont Hospital with the possibility of the loss of a leg and other issues. The days that followed were a blur and since I attend Mass daily, I received the Holy Eucharist each day. After the first several days, we all knew that my son was not losing his leg, but that he was in for a long rehab time. I spent nights sleeping in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the hospital and visited as often as I could. 

Early one day, before I left for Fort Wayne, I called my parish priest to see if he would give me Communion, only to learn that he was unable to do that. Later in the morning at the hospital, as I sat looking at a Crucifix on the wall half covered in sunshine, I had the thought that maybe we were halfway through this extremely difficult time. Suddenly, the door that was near the tabernacle opened, and a man came into the small room. He opened the tabernacle door and removed the Hosts, and I knew he was preparing to give the hospital patients Holy Communion. He saw me and asked if I was Catholic. As I said yes, I began crying and was unable to speak or pray, only feeling God's love and comfort surrounding me. The strength I received from the Real Body and Blood of Christ equipped me throughout my son's hospital stay and beyond. My being in the exact place and the exact time of that extraordinary minister of Holy Communion was a true gift from my Heavenly Father as he reminded me of how much He loves me in the giving of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

With special love and gratitude I still attend daily Mass and Holy Communion.

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“It is the one place I feel safe and loved just as I am”

Julie Schuchardt

I cannot even imagine life without the Eucharist. My love for the Eucharist is so intense that sometimes I feel as if my heart will burst. 

About 20 years ago, I was driving by a Catholic hospital where Perpetual Adoration is held in the chapel. I was not thinking about anything spiritual, in fact I had four small children in the car fighting for my attention about their day at school. Suddenly I felt a strong urge to go inside. I had never seen the chapel, but I knew Jesus was calling me to come in. I took the children home and came right back to the Chapel, where I knelt before Jesus in the Eucharist. I was overcome by emotion and began to cry. I started going to Adoration and eventually signed up for a weekly Holy Hour. Much good fruit has come from Adoration. My faith and my relationship with Jesus has grown and continues to grow. I have since brought others to Jesus in the Eucharist. What a treasure we have as Catholics! 

I love going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion because I am united to the Trinity and the entire body of Christ. When I receive Holy Communion, I am closest to the heart of Jesus, and I am closer to my loved ones who have died than I ever was when they were on earth. I believe the Mass allows us to participate in the passion, death, and rising of Jesus Christ, and we are truly present on Calvary because in the Mass we are outside of time. 

I love being in Adoration because it is the one place I feel safe and loved just as I am. I know Jesus is happy to see me, and it is like spending time with the best, most trusting friend imaginable.

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“I love the closeness to Jesus and God that I feel at Mass”

Bobbi Wright

After my divorce (without an annulment in the Church), I remember feeling like a kid looking through the candy store window, unable to partake in the sacrament. I felt I was missing out on something very dear and important in my life. Subsequently, I received an annulment and married my current husband in the Catholic Church. Now, able to again receive, I feel that I am a child of God. I feel loved. I love to hear the priest retell us the story of the Last Supper at each Mass. When he invites us all to the table, I feel the presence of Jesus. This makes me remember every day how God wants us to treat others — the great commandment. He truly is the bread that sustains me. 

Now that I am able to receive the Eucharist again, there are times when I can feel a light spread throughout my body, starting in my heart and passing out my fingertips. I know that the Lord is helping heal and cleanse my heart. 

I love the closeness to Jesus and God that I feel at Mass. I know the Real Presence. I try to go to daily Mass at least three times a week because I love to hear the Gospel. I love to pray with other Catholics and feel the power of the words as we say them together. I feel sorrow that my sins held Jesus on the cross as surely as the nails did. I feel joy that my sins can be forgiven and I can be washed clean in the Lord. 

When I’m before the Blessed Sacrament, I love the brotherhood and sisterhood of praying with others and the relationship we have with Jesus, as God our Father wants us to have. Just being...and being with Jesus. I feel thankful...and loved.

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“God kept nudging and calling.”

Mary Jane Gates

I blessedly grew up in a family where our mom was Catholic; while our dad was not Catholic, he was committed to raising us in the Catholic faith. All of us attended Sacred Heart Grade School in Terre Haute, Indiana, and two of us attended Catholic high school. I spent two years of high school at St. Mary of the Woods for girls aspiring to become Sisters of Providence. 

After high school, I fell away from the Catholic Church off and on for approximately 49 years, with only about seven years in attendance as a Catholic. 

In my heart, I was longing to return to Catholicism, but I hesitated. Why? Why wasn't I snatching the opportunity to go back to my childhood roots, to the traditions I loved in my teen years? But God kept nudging and calling. Finally, I listened to the Voice that never stopped, the Voice of gentle but steady persistence–the Voice that brought me home to the Truth, to the Holy Eucharist, to the Real Presence. 

I attend Mass almost daily at St. Mary of the Presentation in Geneva, Indiana. It is my greatest consolation for all the wasted years of my life. 

Jesus, I am here now, again, where I belong, finally. Never to stray again!

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“The Eucharist keeps me strong and faith-filled”

Cathy Burke

The Eucharist keeps me strong and faith-filled. It has brought me even closer to our Magnificent Creator. I love going to Mass, where I can hear God's Word and have the privilege of receiving God's greatest blessings to his children.

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“I am happy to be with the Lord.”

John Boughton

Our parish has long had a weekly hour of Adoration and, more recently, a full day. I go when I can and am happy to be with the Lord, but I have trouble staying focused and silent. 

I am always delighted to see who His other friends are who come to visit, especially the school children. One day, I was the only one there (besides our Lord), so I was able to walk around and sing songs of worship and praise directly to Him. That was amazing!

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“Though my house is a bit messy, he still enters my heart.”

Jacqueline Beltowski

The Eucharist is my Best Friend, so naturally, I would like to spend good, quality time with Him. I go to His house (a church or chapel) almost daily, so we can talk and listen to each other. During this time, I worship the Eucharist. To clarify, Jesus is the Eucharist, worthy of all praise. I get to encounter the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of my Best Friend. 

When I attend Holy Mass (the wedding feast), I visit Jesus with the rest of the congregation (my fellow wedding guests). I join the congregation in loving Him and letting Him love us in Word and Sacrament. The Eucharist then enters under my roof, my house, though I am not worthy. Yet, His mother, Mary, helps me clean the house of my heart for when Jesus walks in at Holy Communion. The Eucharist then accompanies me throughout the day, so I am ever close to my Best Friend. 

Whenever I pass by a church while driving or walking, I either wave at the Eucharist inside or salute the Eucharist with a “Hi, Jesus!” 

With all this talk of friendship, there is something I must confess. Do you know how married couples say they married their best friend? Well…I am going to admit that I am in love with the Eucharist. As a young Catholic woman, who has been “dating” the Eucharist, I have given Him my virginity. One day, I hope to become a consecrated virgin, to take Jesus alone as my spouse. It has been during my times with the Eucharist that I have heard Jesus telling me and moving my heart toward the consecrated vocation. 

O, to marry my Best Friend! To marry the Eucharist and get to receive Jesus whenever I attend the wedding banquet (Holy Mass)! 

My Best Friend has changed my life. So much so, that I want to marry Him. He continues to draw me closer, especially when I visit the Eucharist at His house. And, then I get closer when the Eucharist visits me at Holy Communion. Though my house is a bit messy, He still enters my heart. 

Now, I want to encourage you that your Best Friend wants you to visit Him, too. He wants to be in a relationship with you. May you visit His house often. May He converse with you and hear every one of your prayers. May you attend the wedding feast with your fellow guests. May He enter your heart and dwell there.

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“For a moment, I could only laugh.”

Jennifer Griffin

A few weeks back, I had a few work obligations that were canceled. So, I prayed for work and God provided. That weekend the temperatures dropped considerably with snowy conditions. I needed to travel to Ann Arbor one day and then continue to Lansing the next. As a thank you for the answered prayer, I decided that I would definitely attend Adoration and Benediction on Tuesday evening no matter what. Well, God put me to the test on my promise to see how important it was to me. 

Like I said, the weekend had dropped in temperature, along with snowy conditions. My drive throughout the weekend was not pleasant either day. Then on Monday, my car would not start, so I had to reschedule an appointment and cancel my volunteer work. Later, my car was jump-started. I thought I was good to go. 

Tuesday, my car died again with no one to jump-start it. The sun was out, but it was only about 10 degrees. I could have skipped Adoration, but decided it was worth the effort especially since God had answered one of my prayers. So, I did what came to mind. I had a warm parka, boots, hand and foot warmers, etc. I would make a pilgrimage. I knew I wasn’t going to make Benediction because it’d be dark when it ended, so I went to Adoration in the afternoon. 

It was cold, but I was bundled up and I actually felt comfortable in the conditions. I made the trek to the church. The terrain wasn’t the best in some parts, but I managed it. Not long before I arrived at the church, it occurred to me that Adoration might be canceled due to the inclement weather. What was I doing? What was I thinking? I had come too far to turn around now. I kept on. Within 40 minutes of my start, I had reached St. John XXIII only to find a note attached to the door. It said something to the effect of: “Adoration and Benediction are canceled today in the church, but the chapel is open.” Really?! Just my luck. 

You need a code to enter the chapel and I normally do Adoration in the Church. I hadn’t been to the Chapel in a while, so would the code I have still work? Yes, the code let me enter the chapel. It was then that I noticed a text alerting me to the cancellation I saw on the church door. For a moment I could only laugh. I was pleased that I made this journey; after all, it was in appreciation for what God had done for me. He had tested me and I prevailed in what I said I would do. I spent an hour there, then made the trek back home. Although the walk was around three miles in total and in such weather, I was glad to have made the pilgrimage to the church that Tuesday.

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