Then came the ‘aha’ moment…
If you turn to him with all your heart and with all your soul, to do what is true before him, then he will turn to you and will not hide his face from you. But see what he will do with you; give thanks to him with your full voice. (Tobit 13:6)
May was Mary’s month. Now June is the month of the Sacred Heart which usually starts with a procession & adoration on the Feast of Corpus Christi and continues with the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Growing up in the confused American church, my family didn’t practice devotions (my mother secretly said her rosary 3x daily) but I recall there was a little room with a small sign “adoration chapel”. I never was taken inside although I tried (as I was one to sneak into “secret” places) but the door was always locked. We were taught the visible rituals of the mass but were not led to find the invisible Jesus therein. Fast-forward to age 31, resuming mass again after a 12-year procrastination and coming across the MIR center, I checked out home videos of (now deceased) Fr. Doug Lorig giving parish missions. What a diamond in the rough! The major “ah ha” moment was his saying how people look everywhere for the supernatural (astrology, crystals, Zen) when we have God Himself right here in the Eucharist. Bingo!
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
And St. Ignatius instructs a bit on how to pray in his 3rd annotation: “As in all the following Spiritual Exercises, we use acts of the intellect in reasoning, and acts of the will in movements of the feelings: let us remark that, in the acts of the will, when we are speaking vocally or mentally with God our Lord, or with His Saints, greater reverence is required on our part than when we are using the intellect in understanding.”
So why is it so difficult to spend just a few minutes with the Lord? In his talk on “Living the Unitive Life” Fr. Doug instructs: “There is a need for the body to be restrained so the soul can lead. Otherwise the body leads “I want, I want, I want”. On the other side of that is the second part…that the heart has to be ready…we all have a little Pharisee inside us.” There is plenty to give up to the Lord but we have to take the first step, willingness for just a few minutes. What God can do to and for us in that short time is amazing. Consider these moving testimonies provided by the EUK Mamie Foundation … simply praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament changed lives! “the gifts of the Holy Spirit are cultivated in us when we sit before the Lord.” Bingo again!
“When I am before the Blessed Sacrament I feel such a lively faith that I can’t describe it. Christ in the Eucharist is almost tangible to me…When it is time for me to leave, I have to tear myself away from His sacred presence. ” (St Anthony of Claret)
Our scriptures have taught us much these days about the Spirit:
“and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
“Now if the dispensation of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such splendor that the Israelites could not look at Moses’ face because of its brightness, fading as this was, will not the dispensation of the Spirit be attended with greater splendor? For if there was splendor in the dispensation of condemnation, the dispensation of righteousness must far exceed it in splendor.” (2Cor 3:7-9)
“Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.” (Wisdom 7:7)
…but for the new evangelization, to live the Beatitudes, we must first ready ourselves for the work.
“Love is shown more in deeds than in words.” (St. Ignatius of Loyola)
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 😊
(Photo by Hisham Yahya from Pexels)