Sunday, July 14, 2013

An Hour with Jesus: Staying Awake

The Adoration chapel near St. Paul's in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, is a quiet place.

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.


I 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 That

That'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 Trying

I 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.


I'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)."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1418)
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.

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:
Other related posts:

The Adoration chapel near St. Paul's, Sauk Centre, Minnesota. June 26, 2013.

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.