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The Eucharist is a significant part of my life because Jesus is so tangible to me in this great secret mystery. I really have an open heart to how Jesus wants to lead me. I want to experience him in the Eucharist as much as possible as part of my daily life.
I first experienced adoration of the Blessed Sacrament during a “Faith in the Fire of the Holy Spirit” retreat. This retreat changed my life – it was the reverence that so many gave to the Eucharist that left me very docile to how the Lord could work on me. As soon as Jesus came in, as soon as the priest walked in with the monstrance, everyone went to their knees. And that was a surprise to me, because I had never experienced adoration. It was really the power of the Holy Spirit that brought everybody to their knees and I felt the need to follow as well. So many things just started to click.
Having not gone through a lot of catechesis from the time that I received my first communion, I guess you could say some pieces really came together at that point of the retreat. It became the reason that I really came back to going to Mass consistently, because I knew that there was something there. I gave Him permission to work on me.
A year or so after that retreat, our parish started a small weekly men’s group on Saturday mornings at 6:30 a.m. It would lead into the 8 a.m. Mass and silent adoration followed. For the next eight years, I would experience Jesus in the Eucharist, a minimum of two times a week during Mass and at least an hour of silent adoration. Receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation on those Saturdays was also a significant part of the experience.
If I don't spend time with Jesus, it's almost like spending time away from a family member. I would journal, I would read more Scriptures, I would read through the Sunday readings.
I felt like the more patience that Jesus had with me and my growth, the more patience I had with everyone else in my life. And I learned how to work through certain things over long periods of time.
Now I try to attend regular Masses throughout the week and I look for adoration chapels to sit at the feet of Christ regardless of my work schedule – or even if I’m traveling. I take my children at times. I feel a great sense of peace in the presence of the Lord. I often lose track of time. This always brings me back to the center. Like a restart, a place to escape the chaos of daily life. I feel that he wants me to be in his presence more than I even want to be there. It's a consistent practice because it seems as though he's talking to my soul and my spirit without saying anything. It's a real life, living relationship.
I often feel like time stops, and Jesus has been giving me his undivided attention, and I’m the only thing that matters to him in the world at that time. I never feel as though I am missing anything when I’m in the presence of the Lord. Even when I leave from adoration, I feel as though Jesus is still with me, as though we have covered everything for a time and he will be with me as I continue on throughout my day.
I love going to Mass, because I have an expectation of being fed by the word of God in the Holy Eucharist. The communion of the people and the liturgical process are all part of heaven coming down to earth in the Mass. Holy Communion makes me feel as though I am at the Last Supper, the Passover meal, and in the upper room at Pentecost, all at the same time. We see so much of the Scriptures playing out right before our eyes. The singing of the Psalms, the burning of incense, the bells the priest and deacons boldly ring, proclaiming the Good News, the feeding of 5,000 people.
Experience it for Yourself
Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.