“Here I am, Lord. It’s so peaceful here.
I want to understand you. Why is it so hard for me?
When I look up at you, my eyes tell me there’s only bread to see. But something in my heart knows that’s not true.
I know you’re here. I know that I want to love you. But I’m human and I get so confused by all the noise in the world.
Help me to believe.”
- Excerpts from a journal entry during Eucharistic adoration, age 15
One of the greatest blessings in my Catholic formation was the presence of a perpetual adoration chapel at my home parish. My mom had an hour-long time slot on Fridays, and when I was around fifteen years old, I began to join her over the summer and whenever I wasn’t in school.
At that age, I didn’t really understand what it meant for Jesus to be present in the Eucharist, but I could feel there was something sacred about that space—that God was present one way or another.
It was in those hours of silence, sitting next to my mom in the comforting presence of Jesus Christ, that I processed so many of the things that were happening in my life.
At the time, I put enormous pressure on myself to do well in school and live up to the reputation set by my older brother, who seemed to do everything with such ease. Compared to him, I felt slow and awkward, emotional and easily frustrated. I was involved in a toxic friend group fraught with drama and betrayals, and I was in an on-and-off relationship with a boy who I was simultaneously terrified of getting close to and terrified of losing. I struggled with the feeling of not knowing who I was or where I belonged in the world.
Whether I consciously entrusted those things to God or not, I always left the chapel with a greater sense of peace and a renewed strength to face what was ahead.
My mom used to say, ‘One of my favorite things about the Catholic Church is that you can walk into a Mass anywhere in the world and feel right at home.’ When I moved away from home for college, not knowing a single person or a single thing about the city in which I would spend the next four years, the Eucharist became my comfort.
I continued to struggle with my sense of self, placing my worth in my schoolwork, in the student organizations I was part of in the awards I won (or didn’t win). I struggled to make friends. I missed my family and my boyfriend, who felt impossibly far away. Though I loved school, I often felt homesick, overwhelmed, and hopeless.
Amid all of this, I found refuge in the pews of the church, gazing toward Jesus in the tabernacle.
I started to take my Catholic faith more seriously during these college years. I began spending intentional time in Eucharistic adoration, not just running away from the stresses in my life but actively bringing them to Jesus and pursuing a relationship with Him. I began attending daily Mass and went back to Confession after three years, finally realizing how desperately I needed the Lord’s mercy.
The more I pursued the Lord, the less I cared about all those things that had previously overwhelmed me. I experienced great conversion through the sacraments and the community of young adults in Detroit who were striving for holiness alongside me.
I continue to root myself in the Eucharist, both in adoration and the Mass, and I know that I am capable of nothing without the grace I receive in those encounters with Jesus. Because of the Eucharist, I know that my Lord is not far away—He is present here and now in every Catholic Church, waiting to meet me at the altar.
Experience it for Yourself
Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.