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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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.)

Tuesday Adoration – prayer is not pie

Jesus, may I behold Thy Glorious Face in Heaven! St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Today I brought with me to adoration the prayer intentions of many people.  I always pray for the needs of my family and friends, and usually there is a particular person or two who has asked for prayers for a special intention.

But this week, it seemed everywhere I went, someone had an urgent need for prayer.  A couple of friends are recovering from surgery, others have family members who are ill, a close friend desperately needs a job.  Names were popping up in my email, on the phone and even on blogs.  And of course, there was Father Corapi.

As a Carmelite, prayer is the very charism of my vocation, so I feel honored whenever anyone asks me to pray for them.  It is a joy to bring their needs before the Lord, especially in adoration.  Prayer is a gift we can all give to each other, and it costs us nothing.

I love to pray for strangers.  I think most of us have prayed for countless people unknown to us.  Maybe we see them at Mass, or in line at the supermarket, or in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, etc.  Won’t it be delightful in Heaven to meet all those we have prayed for, and to find out that many strangers have prayed for us as well?

I think I might add a page to my blog for people to leave their name or an intention that they would like me to remember at my Tuesday adoration. 

I can’t believe that I once thought prayer was like a pie, and that the more people you divided it among the less each one received.  I now know that God’s Beautiful Heart is big enough for all of our prayer intentions and His Generosity could not be exhausted even if we prayed for each person on earth and in Purgatory.  And we should.

Here is a little meditation from a book I am “always” reading, and will soon list on my Bookstack. 

God bestows His Love on you wholly and entirely, and you insult Him and His Love by dividing your meager love between Him and a thousand unworthy things, or rather by squandering it through your vain attachment to transitory things!  God never tires of loving and embracing you and of showering benefits on you, and you weary if you must move a finger for so lavish and devoted a Friend!  O come, you friends, you lovers and beloved of God, and with your tears wash away the shameful insults offered to this Eternal Love!

The Glories of Divine Grace, P. 129

By Matthias J. Scheeben

(I have added a page for prayer intentions.  I would be happy to include all in my prayers.  See the tab on the header bar if you wish to add your requests.)

Tuesday Adoration – at home

Tuesday adoration will be at home today.  I awoke this morning with an excruciating migraine.  What I call a “five star” headache.  The kind which requires prescription medication and bed rest.

I am so disappointed, but still grateful that this doesn’t happen to me as often as it did a few years ago.  I called a substitute, a lovely lady who has several committed holy hours each week, and is always happy to fill in for others.  I know that Jesus will be well “cared for” in my absence.

Yet, I miss my “prayer power” day so much.  On Tuesdays, I am blessed to spend from 4pm to 6pm with Jesus in the adoration chapel, followed by 6pm Mass.  (Yes, I am always 5 minutes late as I rush from chapel to Mass in the main church.)

No matter what happens the rest of the week, that extended visit in the Real Presence of Jesus is like an anchor for me.  I will miss Him today.

Still, I remember the quiet resignation of Therese, who was unable, because of her illness, to receive Holy Communion for the last several weeks of her life. What a sacrifice!  Far from feeling sorry for herself, she graciously accepted God’s Will.  She liked to repeat, “I love whatever He does.”

In fact, when Therese made her offering of herself as a “Holocaust to Merciful Love,” she asked Jesus:  “..remain in me as in the tabernacle; never leave Your little victim.”

Therese did not say meaningless things.  I am quite sure that she meant what she asked.  I also cannot believe that Jesus would deny her anything, and it is my personal belief that she did receive such a great Grace.

When we are (seemingly) denied opportunities for Grace and communing with the Lord, it is tempting to ask, “But why, Jesus?” 

How well Therese teaches us to simply accept what God permits, and do the best we can.  I know I often forget how very much He values obedience.

Meanwhile, I can be grateful that the pain has backed off a bit, and although I wouldn’t drive while on medication, I can still pray here at home.  And I can still make a spiritual Communion, and Jesus will come as He promised.  Hopefully I can spend at least one holy hour with Him later this week.

As for my friend, Marie, she will be kneeling in my place today with her beautiful heart, but also with the good deed she did for me.  And Jesus will be pleased.

And does anything else really matter?

The Hidden Face of Love

 

 O Jesus hidden in the Host,
You cannot hide Your Love!
Though Your Divine Beauty may be veiled,
Your Love will tolerate no limits.
No disguise can contain Its Burning Thirst.
Hide, If You will, Your Glorious Face.
But Your Love, You cannot hide.
I have felt Its Flames dancing in my being,
A Divine Rhapsody.
It calls to me from Your Sacred Presence,
An Irresistible Song.
I am caught up in the Melody that will never end,
Eternity’s Chorus: GOD IS LOVE!

Begging for 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.)

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, pray for us!

Many know that today is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, but it is also the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.  

  Recall how intensely Eucharistic were the apparitions of Fatima, particularly those of the Angel, who brought the children the very Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and taught them to prostrate themselves before Him, and pray beautiful prayers of adoration.

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly.  I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended.  By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

With Mary Let Us Adore Him
St. Peter Julian Eymard

     Mary devoted herself exclusively to the Eucharistic Glory of Jesus.  She knew that it was the desire of the Eternal Father to make the Eucharist known, loved and served by all men; that need of Jesus’ Heart was to communicate to all men His gifts of grace and glory.  She knew, too, that it was the mission of the Holy Spirit to extend and perfect in the hearts of men, the reign of Jesus Christ, and that the Church had been founded only to give Jesus to the world.
All Mary’s desire, then, was to make Him known in His Sacrament.  Her intense love for Jesus felt the need of expanding in this way, of consecrating itself — as a kind of relief, as it were — because of her own inability to glorify Him as much as she desired.
Ever since Calvary, all men were her children.  She loved them with a Mother’s tenderness and longed for their supreme good as for her own; therefore, she was consumed with the desire to make Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament known to all, to inflame all hearts with His love, to see them enchained to His loving service.
To obtain this favor, Mary passed her time at the foot of the Most Adorable Sacrament, in prayer and penance.  There she treated the world’s salvation.  In her boundless zeal, she embraced the needs of the faithful everywhere, for all time to come, who would inherit the Holy Eucharist and be Its adorers…
Her prayers converted countless souls, and as every conversion is the fruit of prayer, and since Mary’s prayer could meet no refusal, the Apostles had in this Mother of Mercy their most powerful helper.  “Blessed is he for whom Mary prays!”
Eucharistic adorers share Mary’s life and mission of prayer at the foot of the Most Blessed Sacrament.  It is the most beautiful of all missions, and it holds no perils.  It is the most holy, for in it all the virtues are practiced.  It is, moreover, the most necessary to the Church, which has even more need of prayerful souls than of powerful preachers; of men of penance rather than men of eloquence.  Today more than ever have we need of men who, by their self—immolation, disarm the anger of God inflamed by the ever increasing crimes of nations.  We must have souls who by their importunity reopen the treasures of grace which the indifference of the multitude has closed.  We must have true adorers; that is to say, men of fervor and of sacrifice.  When there are many such souls around their Divine Chief, God will be glorified, Jesus will be loved, and society will once more become Christian, conquered for Jesus Christ by the apostolate of Eucharistic prayer.