Begging for Jesus

I thought I would re-visit this post today, in memory of Sylvia, who passed away about two weeks ago. Sylvia was the coordinator of the Perpetual Adoration chapel at my parish. As such, she was always “begging for Jesus.” It was her responsibility to be sure that each hour at the chapel was filled by a committed adorer or substitute. Sylvia herself regularly substituted for those hard to fill hours between midnight and 6 AM.

A beautiful brunette with a loving husband and family, she went home to the Lord on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. I imagine that after years of spending so many hours of making sure that Jesus was never alone, Sylvia surely received a most loving welcome from the King of kings.

As much as Sylvia would be grateful for your prayers for her soul, she would be even more concerned with asking, “Could you not spend one hour with Jesus?”

Eucharistic_Adoration_-_Monstrance

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 one 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, and hear the distant laughter of hundreds of people at the parish fair.  But, not even 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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12 thoughts on “Begging for Jesus

  1. Dear Patricia,
    I am the coordinator for Adoration in our community. Our schedule is presently experience a slump in volunteers for a weekly hour. I found myself feeling quite discouraged and was speaking with my husband about it at dinner. Then I saw your post! A beautiful post indeed. I will pray for the repose of Sylvia’s soul and will especially remember her at Adoration this week. Will you pray for our schedule’s needs at this time? Our parish has about 300 families and I try to keep 32 hours filled each week. My husband suggested that I cast out a bigger net, so I am putting an announcement in the bulletins of two other parishes and on the Catholic radio. Thanks for posting!
    God Bless,
    Rebecca

    • Hi Rebecca! I’m so happy to see you. What a coincidence that you happened to read that post today πŸ™‚ God bless you for heading up Adoration in your area!!! I will most certainly pray for you to sign up more adorers for the chapel you oversee. But, I was just thinking today as I left our chapel that the Lord seems to like to always work with a “skeleton crew.” πŸ™‚ It’s like that all over the bible…a handful of people here and a handful there, etc.

      It’s always been that way at the Adoration chapels I have been part of, but somehow, they keep going. I think there are some special people who pick up the slack. I know one lady who has since moved, but she used to cover about 5 hours/week, and then she would substitute all the time as well.

      No harm in casting that bigger net! I pray you will get some fish! If people only knew how the Lord “repays”! Don’t you love Catholic radio? I am so hooked! God bless you, Rebecca! Please let me know how things go. I’ll be praying. Have a most Blessed Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus, in case we don’t “talk” again before Tuesday. And a Blessed Lent as well!

      PS Thank you so much for your prayers for Sylvia.

  2. Patricia,

    Oh how I would love to have Perpetual Adoration at our parish. Sadly we don’t. I do think we’d have trouble, like you, finding enough willing people to ensure Jesus was never alone.

    3000 families? That seems like a big parish to me. How many people would come to a Sunday Mass?

    I am very sorry to hear you have lost your dear friend Sylvia. Oh yes! I can just imagine the welcome she received from Jesus. I will pray for Sylvia and her family, and you as you grieve.

    God bless!

    • Hi Sue! So good to see you as always πŸ™‚ Oh yes, Perpetual Adoration is so wonderful! We are very blessed. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, some priests came to our diocese….actually the whole state and others as well, and preached about the blessings of Perpetual Adoration. At least a half dozen parishes in the nearby area opened chapels. I think there are at least four which are still open 24 hours/day, and a couple of others have cut back some of the hours, for lack of participation. There is a list on the Internet of Adoration chapels. I ‘m not sure if it only includes those in the U.S. But, there are so many listed. Truly wonderful to see.

      It would be difficult without a large parish, or at least combining a few small parishes. We have seven weekend Masees, and the church is pretty large, so I guess about 500 people attend each Mass. There are several other very large parishes nearby.

      Thank you so much for your prayers for Sylvia! Please include her husband, Henry, as well. He gave me Holy Communion at Mass this evening, and I just wanted to cry for him! I had just spoken to a lady earlier who told me that he is grieving very much…of course. Lovely Sylvia and I were really only acquaintances. I knew her from the chapel, and from years ago when our boys were on the same soccer team. Mostly we would just smile and greet each other. She always had a kind word. I was pretty shocked when I stopped by the chapel Saturday and saw the little memorial set up in her honor. We had been out of town around the time she passed away, and I didn’t know. I knew she had cancer, but didn’t realize it was so near the end for her. Seeing her picture on a stand with some yellow roses just brought tears to my eyes. I am very grateful that she is no longer suffering, but I feel so deeply for her family and close friends. Your prayers will comfort them so much. Thank you Sue.
      Blessings always! xoxo

  3. Thank you for sharing this it is so beautiful so true, we do not have holy hour in our parish (Australia Huntervalley and I miss it, but I used to love to go to the first Saturday in Maitland where the Holy hour was their, I LONG to sit and talk to Jesus but lately I haven’t been doing it, just to sit in the church,, keep us your beautiful writings you are in deed a special soul to Jesus, God bless
    Joanne

    • Hi Joanne,

      How nice to “see” you again! I know that we are very blessed here to have so many adoration chapels, but it’s also so very wonderful to visit Jesus before the tabernacle. I hope your parish church is open during the week so that maybe you could stop by and spend some time with Him. He would be so happy! I like to think of it as walking straight into His arms and being embraced by God, when we enter the church or chapel. He loves us so very much! Thank you for the kind words. I enjoy reading your writing too. You are such a precious person. God bless you always, and I hope you visit again! πŸ™‚

  4. This is so inspiring. I want to become involved with our Adoration schedule now! I usually stop in when I am able. Thank you for advocating spending time with our lovely Lord and King of Kings. It is good to think on His loneliness and longing for us as nothing short of miraculous. Most often I am thinking of my concerns and petitions. To give some of our lives to just be with Him is not only just but an opening to joy. Why are we not flocking to Him? We are so fortunate and blessed beyond measure for the opportunity to do such in our Catholic Adoration. I will be sure to include prayers for Sylvia and her family and you dear Patricia. Thank you once again for your gift of words and insights.

    • Hi Cynthia! How wonderful if you would get involved with Adoration! Do they offer it in your parish? I love the way you called it “an opening to joy.” It truly is! During my own holy hours, I often think that I will never have this opportunity again to “give” something like this to Jesus. In Heaven, everything is perfect, and He is adored unceasingly. But, here on earth, He waits, and is, in His Own Word to some Saints and mystics, “lonely”. What a privilege to often be the only one to keep Him company! St. Jean Vianney once wrote: His eyes are fixed on you alone! I sometimes tell Jesus that I think I will miss this special time to love Him beneath His “disguise,” when the veil is lifted in Heaven. Of course, we will lack for nothing in Heave, but I know He understands πŸ™‚ I know that there are unseen angels filling the chapel..in fact, all of Heaven is surely there. But, He waits there for us! Imagine such Love! Please let me know if you do sign up. I’m going to pray that you will πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your prayers for Sylvia and her family. Her husband was the Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at Mass yesterday, and I received Jesus from him. Honestly, his face was radiant…even in such sorrow. I know our Eucharistic Jesus will greatly comfort him. Love to you dear Cynthia and blessed Lent! xoxo

  5. Patricia, this post is so moving. My sympathy on the loss of your friend, Sylvia. She sounds like a lovely and holy woman. May God’s heavenly embrace bring her eternal peace. Thank you for all that you do to promote Eucharistic Adoration.

    • Anne, thank you! Sylvia was a lovely person. I feel so sad for her husband. They are about the same age as my husband and me, and I’m sure were looking forward to many more happy years together. We just never know. She needs our prayers, of course, but I keep hoping that if she didn’t go straight to Heaven, that she will surely be there soon. I know she suffered a lot with the cancer. I know that you love Eucharistic Adoration too, from reading about the many hours you spend in church with Jesus. When I feel like I’m failing at everything else, I find such refuge in those hours spent with Him. I think something like: “When I appear before Him for judgment, at least Jesus will recognize me!” πŸ˜‰ God bless you dear Anne! xoxo

  6. May Our King reward Sylvia so well. May he hold her face in his hands and kiss her on the forehead. God bless you for memoralizing her love and service.

    • Oh, that’s so beautiful, Colleen! Don’t we all hope for that kind of welcome someday?! I like to think that we will still be welcomed that way, even if we have to go to Purgatory. Jesus will not love us any less. I can’t wait to see His beautiful face! God bless you! I hope you are doing well. I still have to catch up at your blog…and everyone else’s too! I’m looking forward to it this week. Going off FB for Lent! Much love and a big hug!

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