Tuesday adoration….why am I here?


Why did God create you?  Do you ever think about that?  I do.

Many years ago while on retreat, I wrote across the top of the first page of my journal:  Dear God, what is my purpose in life?  Who am I supposed to be?

I prayed all weekend for an answer, bringing my question continually before the Lord.  But I never heard an answer…and I was somewhat disappointed.

But, now years later, I realize that I didn’t hear the answer because I was listening for the wrong kind of answer.  I wanted something specific and concrete.  I wanted to leave my retreat with a plan…maybe even a list which I could check off.  Here is what God has sent me to do.  Here is how I will make a difference in the world.   I wanted a mission.

But as the years passed, and life moved on with its sorrows and its joys, I began to hear the answer I sought.  It is always the same, and it takes root deeper and deeper in my heart, and the joy it imparts is a reassuring certainty.

Today, I heard a young woman describe her very first visit to the Eucharistic Adoration chapel in her parish.

She went in, not knowing what to expect.  And to her amazement, she saw a type of vision…one which arose within her imagination.  She saw a large tree and beneath it she was seated with Jesus.  To her great surprise, Jesus carved His initials and hers in the tree, and then He drew a heart around it.

He looked at her so tenderly and told her, “You could never understand how very much I love you.  Fall in love with Me.  I so much want you to fall in love with Me.”

Then she went on to say that God  always knows just what we need to hear, and the way we need to hear it.

And, I understood.  So many times in the adoration chapel, I have had a similar “vision,” only in mine, I am a little girl, all dressed up with ribbons in her hair, and I am snuggled in the arms of Jesus, or sometimes standing on his lap, looking into His eyes, or hugging His neck so tight.  And….I am so very peaceful, both in the scene, and as I quietly sit there being loved.

Getting out of the car, after hearing the young woman’s encounter with Jesus, I looked up at the blue sky and the trees in their tender spring leaves.  I listened to the bird songs of some cardinals nearby.  I gazed at all of this and with wide-eyed wonder, marveled that the God Who had created it all, and Who sustains a world teeming with life and beauty, would so love me, and you….would so love us above all of His material creation combined.  Yet, I know that He does…because He told us so.

This is the answer I have been hearing for so long…in the quiet of the adoration chapel, in the writings of the mystics, in the longing of my heart which nothing on earth can fill.  The answer is the echo in the restlessness of my soul which yearns to be totally accepted, completely understood, unconditionally loved.  The answer is in my quest to rest in ravishing Beauty which will never fade, never end.

Yes, God answered my question on that retreat so long ago, but His answer was too wonderful, too beautiful, too perfect for me to hear at the time.  But He has repeated it over and over until at last I began to listen:

I created you so that I could love you.  And, I made you in My Own Image and Likeness so that your soul would be so beautiful in its resemblance of Me, that I would thirst for you to love Me in return.

It is really that simple.  We were created for Love. God is always loving us, always giving Himself to us, never turning His gaze from His beloved.  And we, at every moment, can be loving Him in return, whether in thought or deed or absence of malice.

And we can grow, moment by moment, in that love for Him…the more we forgive, the more we give, the more we  forget ourselves….always inviting Him to refine His Image more visibly within our souls.

O Jesus, what a glorious “mission!”  What a sublime purpose for my life….to be Your Heart’s desire!   Teach me to surrender myself to Your Love….and grant that I may love You in return by doing all that I can to imitate You.  Amen.

 “Jesus make me resemble You…”  prayed St. Therese.

“For in reflecting upon it carefully, Sisters, we realize that the soul of the just person is nothing else but a paradise where the Lord says He finds His delight.  So then, what do you think that abode will be like where a King so powerful, so wise, so pure, so full of all good things takes His delight?  I don’t find anything comparable to the magnificent beauty of a soul and its marvelous capacity.  Indeed, out intellects, however keen, can hardly comprehend it, just as they cannot comprehend God; but He Himself says that He created us in His own image and likeness.”

The Interior Castle, Study Edition: pp. 33-34, nos. 83-84.
St. Teresa of Avila
ICS Publications
Washington, DC

(a personal favorite from the archives, as we await Corpus Christi Sunday)

18 thoughts on “Tuesday adoration….why am I here?

  1. Oh…such beautiful words and thoughts Patricia…it really spoke to my soul! I am realizing as I am reading many Carmelite works that LOVE resounds in everything. Even in our mortifications, it is not about denial, but about the love we have for our Lord that urges us on to sacrifice or to accept a specific trial. And when will I learn this? I keep praying for the grace. I, too, want everything laid out. The Spirit is working something in my soul and I think *well…what is it?* It will be revealed when God deems fit. Patience right?

    Many times I picture myself at His feet, pouring ointment, asking forgiveness…knowing I am unworthy to be anywhere else but at His feet.

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post.

    • Theresa, thank you for your beautiful comment. I know what you mean about feeling so unworthy to be anywhere but at His feet…or even too unworthy to be there as well. I think that is why I see myself as a little child, because a child is innocent, and doesn’t know enough not to climb up onto the lap of Jesus. And so far, He has never put her down 🙂

      Yes, LOVE sweetens everything, and surely you are right about it underpinning all we are called to do…even our trials and sufferings. At least we are aware of that, even if we still struggle to embrace it!

      You have such a beautiful “listening” soul. I’m sure you will hear where the Spirit is calling you…maybe out of the desert at last?! Let me know! I’m still stuck there.

      So grateful for our Carmelite Saints, who teach us such wondrous things. From Therese I try to learn littleness and trust…and of course love. But I am always just beginning….

      LOVE your sharings from “Everything is Grace.” I really need to order those booklets. They are sublime. If I highlighted them, I’d be highlighting every word!

      Saw you briefly opened comments. You must miss us 🙂 Angeline was an angelic vision in her First Communion dress, and I’m sure prepared for the Sacrament by mom…as well as Therese was prepared by her sisters. Love and blessings, Theresa!

      • Your replies are so thoughtful Patricia…thank you for such kind words.

        Yes…I occasionally lift the *comments ban* because I do miss you all : ) Sometimes I just forget to put it on too LOL!

        I think I DO practically have everything highlighted in those books of his. Very good for meditation.

        It is such a grace that Angeline can receive with me and we can go to Mass often!

        Have blessed days this week.

        • What a lovely thing to say, Theresa. Thank you! xo
          It must be heavenly to have your innocent little one by your side at Mass and now, Holy Communion. Forget us, Theresa! 🙂 Memorize all these moments with your baby. I often think that I would never have slept, if I had known how quickly my son would grow up.

          You don’t fool me, Theresa…about “forgetting” to ban comments…LOL. But, seriously I know it must be hard, but I’m so inspired by your Carmelite commitment to greater silence and solitude. Hope I get to that point eventually. Like Mary, you have chosen the “better part.” Big hugs to you dear sister in Carmel!

  2. Patricia, I think one day you will live the vision you imagine with Jesus. As for me, I often think back of when I was very little and my parents would take me and my sister to see Santa Claus at John Wanamaker’s. We would, with great anticipation, wind our way through the enchanting mechanical display set up to entertain children until they reached Santa. I often think of this when I think of meeting God the Father – of being a carefree, believing little child in awe yet unafraid to come forward, sit on His lap and tell Him all.

    I think you can take comfort in knowing that you beautifully fulfill the purpose He designed for you. Would that many other souls would love Him as you do.
    Have a blessed day! xoxo

    • Joyce, when we meet Our Father, I don’t think we’ll have to “come forward.” I think He will run to embrace us and scoop us up into His arms…just like Jesus told us in the story of the Prodigal Son. Wouldn’t it be frightening if we had to be worthy? Thank goodness Jesus took care of that for us.

      I would love to be a child in Jesus’ arms. Therese has already said she is going to “play on the lap of the Good God.” So, I’d be in good company 🙂

      Speaking of those little “imaginings” God gives us.. years ago, I would often have this scene of me as a scruffy looking little lamb, following Jesus along the shore. Somehow it charmed me, even though I was such a pitiful little lamb. God is so funny…so lovely.

      Thank you for the kind words, dear Joyce. But I can read your own heart in all the beautiful words you have been writing. I think adoration stirs our hearts, even though we may not feel anything. Do you think?

      Hope you are having a wonderful day! Love and blessings always….

      • I think, when we really realize how unworthy we are, how small we are, then we are comfortable playing in the lap of the Good God. When we’re struggling against our unworthiness, against our smallness, when our humility is very impure, then we are afraid of His worthiness and our unworthiness. But, when we are truly humble, we accept our unworthiness with joy and we trust Him with complete confidence and shameless intimacy.

  3. Patricia, Thank you for helping me understand, for reminding me to listen for the ‘right kind of answer’ . This is hard for me, hard to rest and accept the simplicity of His beautiful answer..but I will go to adoration next time with a vision in my heart instead of a question.
    You bring such beauty to the written word because your Carmelite heart spills all over the pages you write.
    I’m very glad …you are you.
    Love you +

    • Caroline, your comment “felt” like a big hug 🙂 Thank you!
      Isn’t God so very simple? He only has one WORD Who is Jesus. He only has one motive, Love. It seems we need to become simple too.

      Once on Mother Angelica, she had this incredibly joyful religious brother as a guest. He just beamed! He also had some disabilities…perhaps cerebral palsy; I’m not sure. But, she was very impressed with him, and he had a favorite prayer which he jokingly said was “dangerous.” That prayer to Our Lord was simple, “Love me.”

      More and more, I think that is the prayer Our Lord loves best, because it is total trust in Him….so therefore “dangerous..” 🙂 He will make us look like Jesus.

      ” I’m very glad …you are you.”

      And can you tell? I feel exactly the same way about you! xoxo

    • Nancy, I can hear your heart singing, and its song is “idiolect….idiolect…” 🙂 Forgive me, I couldn’t resist, after reading your post at The Breadbox Letters!

      Seriously, thank you for your very kind words. May your heart always sing, dear Nancy. xoxo

    • I know you do, Colleen! Me too! Happy Feast of Corpus Christi! Did you celebrate Thursday? Seems they do that all over Europe. Hope you are doing well. Hope your daughter’s first year at college was a great experience for her! God bless you, dear friend! xoxoxo

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