Jesus longs for your gaze….upon Him

holyhour

PSALM 25:15

Permanently my eyes are on Yahweh,
for He will free my feet from the snare. 

 Permanently, unwaveringly, immovably, let my eyes be fixed on You alone, O Most Blessed Jesus! In Your Divinely Beautiful Gaze, I find all love, all peace, all strength, all wisdom, all joy.

Like Peter who was privileged to walk on water, I can do all things in You. It is only when I look away for a moment, that I too begin to perish.

O Eternal Beauty, let no creature, no earthly attraction draw my gaze away from Your Loveliness. But when in my foolishness, I am distracted from the incomparable Glory of Your Face, grant that I may turn again immediately to You, Who have promised to free my feet from the snares of this world.

O my Adorable Jesus, the more I look upon You in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the more intimate this gaze we share becomes. My poor heart is drawn ever deeper into Your Flaming One. In silent adoration, I come to know You, and to experience that I am known and loved beyond my most daring desires.

I make my own the prayer of St. Therese: “Jesus, grant that I may be fascinated by Your Gaze, and be the prey of YOUR LOVE!”

(First published, June 5, 2011)

Tuesday adoration….give Me every moment

adoration

Jesus is real.  He’s not a nice idea, or someone who lived long ago.  He’s real now.

I was driving to my Tuesday adoration hours this afternoon when a very joyful young woman on the radio emphatically stated the above words.  Coincidentally, she was sharing her own experiences with Our Blessed Lord in Eucharistic Adoration.

“We cannot conceive how much our visits mean to Him,” she went on.  Then she shared this little story:

I had promised to make a holy hour each day during Lent.  But one night, I got home really late, and I decided to go to bed instead.  But, the Lord was relentless.  My conscience kept bothering me and so I got up and got dressed and went to the chapel.

I tried to stay awake, and after checking my watch, I saw that 50 minutes had passed.  Is it okay if I leave now, Jesus?  It’s almost an hour.  Then I heard in my heart these words, “Before you go, open the bible.”  So, I did, and it opened to Matthew 26:40, “Could you not watch one hour with Me?”  Oh no!  I’m so sorry, Jesus.  I’ll stay.

And then she went on to talk about how crazy in love with each of us Jesus is.  How it matters; it really matters that we spend time with Him.

Funny….earlier today I was going through a box of old books, and thumbed through one about some private revelations concerning the Eucharist from Jesus to a nun in Kenya. ” I count your very breaths, your every heartbeat.  You cannot imagine My Love for you….and I am abandoned here in My tabernacle.”  I put that book in the save pile.

Listening to that joyful young woman on the radio this afternoon gave me much to ponder when I reached the chapel….three minutes late.  My prayer partner is always on time, so it never occurred to me that being one to five minutes late, as I often am, mattered that much.  But today I realized that it matters very much to Jesus.  

When you love someone deeply, you cannot wait to see them again.  When my son and his wife came for dinner Sunday, I was so excited when I heard their car in the driveway.

But Jesus!  Who can measure His Love for us?  He sold Himself for me, for you.  I know He thought about us while He hung on that Cross.  And because He is God, He could think of each and every one of us by name.  I think He did that.  I think His Love, not His Power, was the strength that kept Him on that Cross.

What did He see, looking down through the ages?  Who would return His Love?  Is that why He cried out, “I thirst!”  Did He see the paltry return most of us would make for His entire gift of Himself?

Did He see me, taking a break, between my 4pm and 5pm holy hours?  While it’s true that because I am the only adorer at 5pm, I often need to grab a little snack before my 4pm prayer partner leaves…because I tend to get low blood sugar symptoms at the 6pm Mass, if I don’t.

But, how many times have I checked phone messages while in the car getting my snack? Or even texted a quick reply to someone?  Or put on some lipstick?  And yet, Jesus was counting the minutes.  Jesus, was in the chapel waiting, while I wasted time that I had promised to Him.

Jesus is real!  But, He is so much more than that.  He is God, and He loves us beyond anything that we could desire or dream of or hope for.  The Saints tell us that we would literally die if we could for a moment experience that Love in Its Fullness.

St. Therese experienced a few moments of only a touch of this Divine Love a few days after she had made her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love, and she declared that she would have been dead, had It lasted a second longer.  She was on fire!

I thank Jesus that I heard that young woman on the radio today.  It was like He was saying to me:

Remember a long time ago, when you first began to come?  Remember when spending hours with me was so new to you?

You brought Me flowers, and you knelt the whole time just gazing at Me.  You were so careful to bow reverently, and you hated so much to leave Me when our time was over.

Let it be like that again.  I so long for your love, and every moment is precious to Me.  Don’t  waste even one when you are here.  

Most of all, fall in love with Me again…and again.   Just as I am forever and eternally in love with you, My precious child.

Tuesday adoration….broken promises?

I was reading some Facebook comments tonight, and one woman wrote that she had always felt she should have been a nun, and that she still regrets every single day that she did not follow-up on that desire.

That made me smile.  After my adult conversion, I too wanted to be a nun, but there was one problem:  I was married.  I spent a couple of years mourning my lost vocation, before it occurred to me that Our Lord would have timed things differently if He had really wanted me to be a nun.

All of this reminded me of something I was thinking about during Eucharistic Adoration today.

I have recently been going through items I have kept for years, like cards and pictures, and my stack of prayer journals.  The latter go back thirty years, and flipping through them re-acquaints me with someone I no longer am.

There are so many resolutions in those journals, so many promises to the Lord to  do great things for Him, so very many lists of virtues to practice, faults to overcome and new and better prayer schedules.

There are pages written while awash in consolations or on a weekend retreat…words splashed across pages filled with fervor and wonder and exclamations of love.

Have you ever done this?  Have you ever promised the Lord everything….your whole life, every moment just for Him, no turning back, no old ways.  And you meant it, with every beat of your heart…at the time.  No string of adjectives could express what you felt, nor could there be too many exclamation points!  Have you…ever?

I must confess to feeling some sadness and regret, as I leafed through hundreds of pages written by a much more idealistic and passionate young woman than the person I am today.  And of course, I have not kept all of those well-meaning promises or become that warrior for the Lord…..or fulfilled my long ago dream of echoing the heart of my beloved Therese.

“What about all of this Lord?”  I found myself wondering today, when I realized that I had not even kept most of the resolutions written in this year’s journal.

And Jesus seemed to say:  But you meant them at the time, didn’t you?  Don’t you know that I am listening to your heart at every moment, and I accept every good intention, every act of love, every desire you have for Me and My Glory?  Nothing meant for good is ever lost.  Without your realizing it, I have planted within your soul, a kernel, a seed of all that you have ever offered to me….and in My Own Time, I bring forth the harvest. 

I was truly comforted by these thoughts, which seemed to lift a burden from me….the impossible burden of being perfect, of remembering every promise, and of journeying in darkness and dryness of soul with the same flush of fervor experienced during my first encounter with my Lord, so many years ago.

Thank You, Jesus, for tending the garden of my soul.  May it flower in Your Season.  I love You!

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.)