I grew up in a broken home, and I never felt loved. There was so much turmoil and chaos that I couldn't control. As a child, I couldn't control that. I got invited to a Protestant church one Sunday, and that's where I found my peace: just in the church, in being told that I was loved. I just loved going to church. Once I started Catholic Mass, I fell in love with the Church almost instantly.
Just how holy the Mass was—it was just a different experience for me, you know? I started the process when I was 19 and converted right before I turned 21.
My first experience in adoration was life-changing for me. I didn't yet believe that it was the Body and Blood of Christ. Even though I had joined the Church, I had been very loosely catechized.
One Friday, I went to adoration at St. John Neumann in Canton. The crucifix was hanging above the altar so I was looking at Jesus in the monstrance, and looking at the cross, and it just hit me. I knew I had been told that this is Jesus. But that moment, it just gripped my heart.
“Wow. And I get to partake in him?! I get to receive him without a doubt. I get to receive Jesus, and he thinks I'm worthy,” I thought.
We pray the prayer, right? “Lord, I'm not worthy that you should enter under my roof.” But then he responds, “Oh yes, you are. Yes, you are. And this is how you're going to receive me: my body, blood, soul and divinity. This is how you get to receive me.” What an honor. On our own no we are not worthy but the Lord qualifies us through his mercy. In John 10:10 Christ tells us, “You are not worthy on your own but come to me. I died for you so that you may live more abundantly.” It is with Jesus and through that mercy on the cross we are made worthy.
That love was so overwhelming. I just cried for hours. I felt that love. Looking at Jesus, the vision of what it was he did for me—it was very, very overwhelming.
Growing up in the Protestant church, you’re told you're loved and everything. But in adoration and in the Mass, you just feel and see he really is the God of love. God loved little ol' me. He loved me enough to give up his life, not just for me but for everyone.
At my work, there's an area where there is a question posted. They change it every couple of weeks, and you write your answers on Post-it notes and stick it on. This week's question was, ‘What do you do to de-stress?’ And I wrote, “I go to adoration.”
Experience it for Yourself
Jesus is truly present. Jesus is always with you. Sit in his presence and open yourself up to his voice.