Light filtering through south-facing windows fills the room with soft light. Even when someone else is there with me, the only sound is a soft murmur from fans in some distant part of the building.
For some folks, it's a wonderfully calm place for prayer, meditation, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
I'd enjoy taking a nap there, but that's not why I go each week.
Looking into the Adoration chapel near St. Paul's, Sauk Centre, Minnesota. June 26, 2013.
OopsI signed up for an hour each Wednesday afternoon at the Eucharistic Adoration chapel last month. I've only missed two shifts so far: once because I forgot about the new routine; once because I had to be in North Dakota that day.
Happily, someone was there the day I forgot. It's important for someone to be on hand 24/7 while the chapel is open.
Transubstantiation and All ThatThat's because my Lord is there: really, physically present in the Eucharist. We call what happens transubstantiation.
It's a hard idea to swallow. Small wonder that folks didn't like it two thousand years back.
Quite a few folks stopped following Jesus when my Lord gave the conditions necessary for eternal life. Like Simon Peter said, though: if we want to live, staying with Jesus is the only option. (John 6:53-60; 66-69 - Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; and Luke 22:19-20, too)
Failure and TryingI was not a happy camper when I remembered my promise to be at the Adoration chapel: with about seven minutes to go on my shift. I detest making mistakes.
I didn't see a point to 'coming in late' with so little time left on the clock, so I called the lady in charge of scheduling at the chapel and explained the situation.
I suggested that my failure to show up might indicate that I wasn't qualified to be a 'regular' at the chapel. On the other hand, I wanted to keep trying.
The two of us discussed schedules, habits, and ways to help me remember. Spending an hour at the chapel is a routine now, so I don't expect a repeat of that memory lapse. Not soon, anyway.
FeelingsI'm a very emotional man: but try to make decisions based on reason, not feelings. Actually, I think my mercurial mood ricochets help me understand why reason is important.
Some decisions I've made by 'trusting my feelings' haven't had happy results, and that's another topic.
Maybe some folks feel 'uplifted' after an hour at the Adoration chapel. I don't, and didn't expect to.
I'm there because it's a good idea: a way to express my love for Jesus. It's also 'the right thing to do.'
"Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. 'To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord' (Paul VI, MF 66)."They've got books, pamphlets, and prayer cards in the chapel. I've been spending much my time there reading parts of the Old Testament.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1418)
My hour with the Blessed Sacrament still feels like 'doing nothing,' sometimes. But although emotions are important: so is doing what I should, whether I feel like it or not. Compared to what some folks have gone through, I've got it easy. More topics.
Posts about faith and feelings:
- "Gray Afternoon of the Soul"
(April 29, 2012)
- "Catholics Invented Transubstantiation Like Newton Invented Gravity"
(September 21, 2009)
- "Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: Born August 26, 1910"
(August 26, 2009)
- "The Important Idea, Charisms, and Working With What I've Got"
(June 24, 2012)
- "Sunday Obligation, Rules, Emotions, and Me"
(October 9, 2011)
- "Corpus Christi, and Running into Walls"
(June 26, 2011)
- "The Road to Emmaus, and Rome, and Sauk Centre, and - - -"
(May 8, 2011)
- "Really 'Spiritual' Experiences: Those are Okay"
(April 22, 2010)
The Adoration chapel near St. Paul's, Sauk Centre, Minnesota. June 26, 2013.