“I began to understand the effect of His presence”

Ana Mello May 10, 2023
St. Michael Fall River, MA

My Catholic faith has always been of the utmost importance in my life. I was born into a devoted Catholic family and was raised by people who were completely dedicated to the Lord and trusted in His divine providence. They showed me by example how to be a disciple. As I went through everyday life, looking forward to milestones, and searching for happiness and contentment, I took for granted and didn’t fully grasp the importance of the gifts that they had given me. What I didn’t realize until a few years ago, was that I knew who Jesus was, His miracles, His words, about His perfect sacrifice to redeem us. I loved Him and trusted in Him, but I loved Him from afar. I knew God’s love abided in me and that I could go to Him during times of hope and times of distress. However, I saw Him as a personage, as someone you admire and model, but at the same time, not fully accessible. Habitual Eucharistic adoration has revealed to me that this was the furthest thing from the truth. 

I always had the discipline to attend weekly mass and I believed in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I revered Jesus, but again, as if He was a rockstar. I did not attend Eucharistic Adoration regularly until approximately a decade ago, when our parish was blessed with the most holy, virtuous, and zealous priest. It is so inspirational, beautiful and awesome to have a deeply devoted priest who believes in what he is doing and who invites his flock to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus through adoration. 

Adoration has enabled me to open not only my heart, but my whole being to the Lord. It has opened my eyes to see that Jesus is not only truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, but that His love is tangible and that He invites us to approach Him and to abandon our whole selves to His will. During Eucharistic adoration, I am gazing, worshiping, praying, and adoring my Lord and savior. However, the most beautiful part is that He is also looking at me and right through me. When I realized that there is no place to hide and abandon myself to Him and become vulnerable, I began to understand the effect of His presence. 

The realization that His love for us is so profound and that He allows us access to be His presence is the most amazing gift. It fills my heart with overwhelming awe and it makes me feel so small and so big at the same time. I feel small in the context of creation and history, then I feel so big and so special because I know that I was uniquely created by God, and that I am part of His plan. Spending time with Him in adoration and entering into communion with Him when receiving the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist continually expands my heart and fills it with His love, and His peace. He gives me the graces that I need to persevere in faith, to overcome obstacles, and to change my heart to conform to His. He is there to share in my joys, console my sadness, and to pick me up when I fall. Life is not easy, but I know I’m not alone and that is all I need to know.

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