“What difference does it make?”

Marie Wilkie June 9, 2022
Our Lady of Sorrows Farmington, MI

What difference does it make—going to Eucharistic adoration and spending time before the Blessed Sacrament? To me, it makes all the difference in the world.

A number of years ago, I went on a retreat with my parish. It was announced on the first night that the Blessed Sacrament would be exposed for adoration throughout the weekend and that we could sign up to pray at any hour, including the wee hours of the morning.

I have to be honest when I say that my first reaction was that I certainly was not going to get up in the middle of the night to pray when there were many other perfectly good hours available during the day! At that point, I did not have a clue what Eucharistic adoration was all about because it had never been emphasized in my 15 years of Catholic education or in the churches that I attended growing up. Nevertheless, a friend, who apparently had a much lesser need for sleep than I did, signed up for the 3-4 a.m. slot. I thought he was crazy and told him so. However, I also found myself telling him that if I could wake myself up, I would join him in prayer (thinking it would never happen!)

So there I was at 3 a.m. in the chapel, in my pajamas, admittedly not totally awake, yet drawn to the presence of the Lord before me. What drew me there, and what kept bringing me back to Him throughout the weekend? Perhaps I heard Christ’s invitation, ‘could you not watch with me for one hour?’ (Mt 26:40), or perhaps it was something deeper stirring inside of me, a stirring that continued to grow long after that weekend.

Why do I continue to be drawn to pray before the Blessed Sacrament? What difference does it make? I can easily fall into the pattern of making ‘my life a prayer’ because I often (incorrectly) feel I don’t have enough time to sit quietly with the Lord. But just like the example of the loaves and fishes, I have seen first-hand that if I give God my time in prayer, particularly in adoration, he will multiply that time and make it fruitful for me and those I encounter.

I have come to realize that to know and love God, and consequently to love others, I must spend time with the One who is incredibly in love with me. When I pray before the Blessed Sacrament, I’m responding to the desire God has put in my heart to be with Him. As I encounter the Lord in adoration, He strengthens me so that I can then freely share His love with others. The gift that I received in the middle of the night on that retreat years ago continues to empower me today. How blessed I am to receive such a precious gift, a gift that is accessible to all of us!

So, what difference does it make? As we spend time with the one who is Love, in time we will also become love, and I think that makes all the difference in the world!

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