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I was raised Catholic, both of my parents are great Catholics, but there was a time when I was just going through my journey of growing up and I kind of fell away from the faith. I would go to Mass on Sunday, but would get up as much as I could during the Mass and walk around to do something else. I went to plenty of Masses without receiving Communion and just went up for a blessing or not at all.
I remember one particular time when I was in high school, I was going through a really hard time. I was used to having so many friends around me, and knowing what my future would look like. I was used to
kind of being in control, I suppose. The older I got, the more friends I had lost, and the more relationships I had damaged. I was letting all my relationships fall by the wayside because of my own anxieties. I was trying to control everything. I remember my dad saying at some point, ‘Why can't you just ask for help? Can't you just send up a prayer?’ I looked him straight in the eyes and I said, ‘No.’
The school I went to at this time was connected to our church and I walked over after school and, for whatever reason, I was drawn into the main church where they had adoration. It was funny because I didn't even pray.
I didn't get up, I just sat there, and for that moment, I probably had more peace than I had had for that
entire year. But once I was done, I just got up and went back to what I was doing. I didn’t think
much of it at the time.
My grandfather and I were super close. He's still involved in the pro-life movement and everything having to do with church. We lived with him for three years, so we grew very close. However, this was one of the relationships that suffered when I was going through this difficult time. Everything that he wanted to talk about was faith and religion, and at that point in my heart, I didn't have any faith, so I didn't want to hear what he had to say.
Well, not too long after that moment in adoration, I was talking to my grandfather, and he had suggested Eucharistic adoration. He was like, ‘Go to adoration, do a holy hour.’ I looked at him and was just like, ‘No no no, I don't have time.’
He looked at me and he said, ‘How often do you go to the gym?’ I said, ‘Like a couple hours a day.’ And
he's like, ‘How often do you watch TV?’ I said, ‘Well, an hour or so.’ He said to me, ‘So why can't you
find an hour for Jesus to go sit with Him?’
Looking back on this now, he had such a good point. But at the time, it didn't mean anything to me. I was looking back on this recently, and I realized it wasn’t a time issue. I would go to the gym because I believed that I would be more fit and I'd be healthier and that I would see results. I would hang out with friends because I knew that I’d have stronger relationships. The reason that my grandfather’s words kind of fell flat or fell on deaf ears, so to speak, was not because I had a time issue, but because I had a faith issue.
I didn’t truly believe that adoration would do anything for me. I didn't truly believe that I would be in
God’s presence, you know? Not only did I doubt that He was really there, but even if He was, I thought He didn't care about me or He didn't want to hear me. So it wasn't that I didn't have time to go a whole hour at least once a week, but that, you know, I didn't believe that it mattered and was worth my time.
I didn’t have this one big moment that changed my life. For me, I think the Blessed Sacrament and the power of the Holy Spirit was so huge in my life because it wasn't one event or anything like that. It was little by little, just Him working on me.
Little by little, by just saying yes, going to the Blessed Sacrament, staying in God’s grace, and receiving the Eucharist, (along with plenty of prayers from those in my life), my life was transformed. Looking back though, it’s crazy how much the Blessed Sacrament now means to me. Now I'll get up that extra hour earlier, or I'll search around and try to find a church that has adoration, because now it means something to me. No matter what's going on, no matter what mental state we’re in, or how bad of a day or how bad of a week or whatever it is, whatever we’re afraid of, you know, we need to go to Our Lord. He already chose you. He just wants you to choose Him.
It means everything. I mean, now I can't even imagine missing Mass. While I can't pick out one key moment that changed me, I look back and see the Lord's working hand along the way. I just need to choose Him every day. I try to make that time to be with Him. That is truly where I find the most peace, when I'm in Mass or when I'm in a holy hour, or just stopping by.
Especially nowadays, I keep asking God, ‘Please come to me, please come to me, please be with me. I need you. I'm going to close my eyes, and when I open them, I want everything to be good.’
If there's one thing that I have heard God whisper when asking Him, ‘Please come to me,’ it’s Him saying, ‘I am here.’
Experience it for Yourself
Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.