Begging for Jesus….

(I came across this post by accident today. It is from my archives of June 17, 2011. It seemed so appropriate for today’s Feast, which reminds us of how Jesus so longs, and even begs to be loved.)

I stopped by the adoration chapel today while I was out running some errands.  A lady came in with a container of books and prayer cards.  The noon hour in our adoration chapel is covered by parishioners who come to spend an hour in prayer for priests, and for an end to abortion.

Assuming that I had come to participate, she greeted me very warmly.  I quietly explained that I had to leave to pick up my husband.  She said, “Oh, I guess it will just be two of us then — referring to the other lady who had just arrived.”

As I drove away, I couldn’t help reflecting:  Isn’t that how it always is?  So few people show up when prayer is the focus.

We have 3000 families in my parish, but every week, the chairperson of our perpetual adoration chapel has to go begging in the bulletin for more committed adorers.  It only takes 168 people to fill all the hours in a week, but there is always a need — even though some adorers commit to more than an hour each week.

People love to drop in when it’s convenient, but most resist signing up for a weekly hour.

I used to be that way too.  For years, I enjoyed the benefits of  perpetual adoration at my former parish, but I just couldn’t bring myself to commit to a specific hour.  Surely other things would always be coming up and I would need to get substitutes and oh well I just don’t think so.

But then, I took the plunge, about 20 years ago.  A slot opened at 1pm on Mondays.  Since at that time I attended the noon Mass, it was easy to run for a bite to eat and make it back to the chapel on time.

Oh how Jesus rewards our little efforts.  Here He waits, the King of kings, the Lord and God of all.  Here He lovingly waits upon us to see if we can fit some time into our schedules for Him.

But when we do, He goes to work on our hearts, and we are never the same.  All the adorers I know are “addicted” for want of a better word.  They anticipate their hours with Jesus with great joy, and regret when they have to miss for a necessary reason.

No matter if we are fighting sleep or distractions or if our hearts are as dry as desert sand, Jesus still works His Divine Charm upon our souls.  And we may not know it at the moment, but we find His handiwork later in the week or month or year as we overcome with ease a previous struggle, or find an insurmountable problem suddenly resolved and on and on.   He is full of surprises!  And He will never be outdone in generosity.

Yet, it is so sad to sit in the chapel alone with Jesus, hearing the distant laughter of hundreds of people while the parish fair is going on.  Yet, no one comes to visit the King.  What must He feel?

When we have a “giving tree” in our parish at Christmas, people rush to strip it bare to buy gifts for the needy, but when it is sign-up weekend for adoration, so few stop by the table.

I know that Jesus wants us to buy presents for the poor and raise money at the parish fair, but how much He would love to be included as well.  But He waits, and waits.

Will you come?

“Behold this Heart which has loved man so much, but Which is loved so little in return.”

(Words of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary.)

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8 thoughts on “Begging for Jesus….

  1. Patricia,
    I could have written this post myself. It is very much the same in my own parish. We had a parish mission back in December with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal to celebrate 15 years of Perpetual Adoration. What a blessing! We also had sign up sheets in hopes and prayers that some would sign up, especially in those hours where there is great need. Very few few signed up. I have been doing the Sunday midnight hour for 9 years now, and while my flesh will often rebel wanting to stay in my comfy bed, I am always so glad when I get to the chapel.
    May more people be inspired to commit to an hour with Jesus, and may more parishes begin partial or perpetual adoration.
    God bless.

    • Karin, you had the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal at your parish? Wow! What a great parish you much have. I just love them!
      Yes, it’s such a mystery why more people don’t sign up. We do have several perpetual adoration chapels in my diocese, but they all desperately need commmitted adorers.
      Our pastor does the 4am – 5am hour everyday. And, he gets a million things done, never seems stressed, etc.

      Oh my, I can see you on cold nights, climbing out of bed to get to the chapel 🙂 Can you imagine how loved that makes Jesus feel….bet He greets you just like your famous gravatar which everyone loves.

      I just love being there too….even on my migraine days. Sometimes I jsut rest my head at the foot of the monstrance…so peaceful. In the depths of my heart, I know Jesus will never forget these hours we have spent with Him.. Years ago there was an article about the first adoration chapel in our diocese, which began over 30 years ago. One thing noted was that many of the adorers who passed away often died on their committed adoration day. Coincidence??

      I hope to get over to the chapel today to visit Jesus on this great Feast. God bless you, Karin! You are even more beautiful and inspiring since your recent retreat 🙂

      Blessings always….

      • Patricia,
        That is such an interesting and quite beautiful observation about deceased adorers dying on the day of their holy hour.
        As for the friars coming to do a parish mission, well Fr. Marius Koch CFR was a very good friend of our late pastor; He is also a good friend of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries in our archdiocese.
        Thank you for the kind words about me through my writing since this last retreat. Our Lord did some amazing things in me with which I am trying to cooperate 🙂

        • Karin, it is interesting, isn’t it?! My current holy hour is on a Tuesday, and years ago when I had a holy hour in a different parish, it happened to fall on a Tuesday as well. One day we will find out, won’t we : ) I think it would be rather comforting to meet the Lord on the day we had set aside to spend special time with Him.

          Oh, I think I know who Father Koch CFR is. Wasn’t he on EWTN with the young people in a retreat type setting where they discussed Scripture, and the Eucharist? I loved him!

          You are most welcome for the kind words…just making observations 🙂 Retreats can be real spiritual turning points in our spiritual lives. God is so good..so generous!

          Carry on, Karin…. 🙂

  2. When I go to Adoration the church is usually pretty empty too. I dread summers a bit because it’s harder to go with Michaela home from school. She does good at Mass but gets bored during Adoration even though she knows it’s Jesus. I told her that she can bring books – she has a huge stack of saint books for children. Just being in His Presence is good even if she just says a prayer or two then reads.

    She’s infatuated with lighting candles for people. Maybe a bit of blackmail?

    Just kidding!

    I DO wish she understood what a grace it is.

    • Mary, sounds like Michaela is doing beautifully. I know adults who think they couldn’t sit still for an hour in adoration. Just think of all the graces falling down upon her…those RAYS you mentioned on your blog 🙂

      I love when the religion teachers occasionally bring in some of the children while I’m at adoration. I just think Jesus must be so overjoyed to see the little ones! I used to bring my son afterschool for a few minutes almost daily when he was in elementary school. I’m still waiting for those graces to “kick in!” 🙂 I hoped I was raising a future priest. NOT! He’s getting married in six weeks.

      Isn’t it funny how all the kids love to light candles. I remember wanting to do that too. Bet you lit your share of candles too 🙂
      Is Michaela names for St. Michael the Archangel? Even if she isn’t, he’s still her patron. Wow! Just love him!

      Hugs to you, Mary!

  3. Speaking of Mass and Adoration, I ask the Lord to fill the empty pews with the souls in Purgatory.
    I believe the Lord allows this, too 🙂

    • Mary, that’s a lovely idea. I once read in a book on Purgatory that souls devoted to the Blessed Sacrament are allowed to pass their Purgatory in adoration. Gee, I sure hope that’s true! It was some ancient book I purchased years ago from TAN called “An unpublished manuscript on purgatory.” I lent it to a friend and lost track of it. But, a soul from purgatory appeared to a nun several times and told her many things about purgatory and asked for prayers. My favorite was the above.

      Here’s hoping…… : )

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