Sunday, July 13, 2008

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

for those readers who may not be Catholic, or who might never have heard of it:
from "Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is the adoration of Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist . In the many Churches that have this adoration, the Eucharist is displayed in a special holder called a monstrance, and people come to pray and worship Jesus continually throughout the day and often the night." For those who may still be confused, we are praying before the communion host, which we believe is the true presence of Jesus Christ.

I was first exposed to Eucharistic Adoration in college when I heard about other Catholic students going in the middle of the night to pray in a chapel downtown. I started joining them. I think it was at 3:00am. First someone would call the group and wake everyone up. Then one friend would drive around campus, picking each of us up outside our dorm. We loaded the car and made the drive downtown for our prayer hour with Jesus! It felt like we were going "underground"...sneaking out at night to pray! I can still imagine being in that dark chapel of St. Joseph and having some deep prayer time. It was a wonderful experience.

As the years went by, our college parish finally began having Adoration, except during the middle-of-the-night hours. And in early marriage, Steven and I took an hour at a nearby parish which had Perpetual (round-the-clock) Adoration. (Usually parishes with Eucharistic Adoration will try to have 2 or 3 assigned adorers at each hour, so that Our Lord in the Eucharist is not left alone.) But after several moves and several children, this was a devotion that we did not continue except for special events like group Holy Hours with my lay movement, retreats, or quick visits to the chapel with the girls when we were at church activities.

Just over a year ago, I had it on my heart that I would love to help start a weekly or monthly Children's Holy Hour. But after working at it for awhile, things weren't falling into place. This year we felt like maybe it was time for Steven and I to take an hour, although we could never decide on which day and time we might want to take. Thankfully, someone called us and asked us to take a late night hour that was in need of an adorer. We will probably trade off each week to have our hour of quiet prayer.

This week was my first time since a silent retreat in January, to have a full hour of quiet. It was just what I needed! Not only was I able to have some time of quiet meditation, I was also able to work on my "Program of Life" (plan of goals) and discern with Christ how I will best serve the girls in homeschooling this year. I brought the baby and he slept the entire time, and the way home, which is a small miracle considering how he hates nighttime car rides!

So I am very happy at how Steven or I will be able to have this Holy Hour each week, to have this beautiful opportunity to adore Christ and listen to him in prayer. I am sure it will bear many fruits for our family if we can stay faithful. And maybe it will be an inspiration to try again to start a Children's Holy Hour to allow them to experience this type of prayer in a way that is focused on children. We'll see what God has in store!

And while I am speaking of prayer, I have 2 special intentions today: one is for a dear friend of mine and her children who moved far away this week due to some difficult family circumstances. May God bring healing and peace to their family. The second is for my family as we prepare for a much-needed vacation this week. We have had a very healthy year overall but seem to have some illness befalling several of us (hence my 3am blogging) and I am praying so hard that no one (especially the baby) gets terribly sick, and that we might enjoy this special resort and "Shamu" trip with my parents, as well as a visit to the home of some dear friends. May the barking be left to the seals at Seaworld...Please allow us this gift of a happy trip if it be your will, O Lord!

May you all have a blessed Sunday.


Jill said...

I will pray for your intentions. Happy Sunday to you as well.

The Stengel Crew said...

Hello! I got your blog through Michelle Hinckley and I love to see pictures of your family. I am expecting my secong child in september. My husband and I used to do mission work in Honduras, we moved back to the US in December. We live in Arkansas and our church here only has Sunday Mass. I wish i had the previlege of going to visit Jesus in Perpetual Adoration.
God Bless!

B-Mama said...

Blair, you've inspired me to start looking into having a holy hour for me and my hubby to share! Thanks for the beautiful reflection!

Shannon said...

how wonderful, Blair!

I have a blogging friend who is producing a documentary on Perpetual Adoration. Here is her blog:
She is a doll.

Blessings to you!

Blair said...

Thank you for the prayers, Jill.

Nice to "meet" you, Marcela! I think I saw your blog before on a link from Michelle when your baby was born. Prayers for your little Thomas! Yes, we are blessed to have Adoration available and need to take advantage of that gift!

I'm glad I've helped inspire you, B-mama! I wish we would've done this earlier!

And what a beautiful blog you've shared, Shannon. That was a neat video.

Have a great week, ladies!

Lillian said...

Praying you and your crew feel better this week!!!

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