by Sister Orianne, novice
Maybe your kids have a secret fort… or an equally mysterious equivalent. When I was a teacher, I would watch with affection as my kindergarteners conspired to create secret nooks with friends. They wanted a quiet space to connect more deeply. It would make me grin to see two kids sitting knee-to-knee, whispering secrets and giggling. It was a space I never intruded. I knew that, with all the stimulus of a kinder classroom, my kids needed a quiet place to just be themselves, and truly get to know each other.
Most of us adults can admit we are still enamoured with the idea of a secret fort, a place to simply be ourselves and get to know God. But it’s hard to find that safe, secret place… where can we go to be alone and sit knee-to-knee with Jesus, to whisper secrets and have him whisper back?
But there is such a space. We call it Eucharistic Adoration, or simply ‘Adoration.’
When the priest says the prayer of consecration at Mass over the bread and wine, the Holy Spirit transforms them into the real body and blood of the Risen Jesus. Which means that, along with his real body and blood, his soul and his divinity are there too. So when the priest puts the extra Eucharist in the tabernacle after communion, it’s not just a place to ‘store the leftovers.’ It’s where Jesus really is sheltered. And he stays there, under the humble guise of bread, waiting for you to come by to sit with him, knee-to-knee, and visit.
It’s like having our own secret fort… except way more epic.
So do some conspiring of your own this Lent. Where is a place you can visit Jesus in the Eucharist? Find an unlocked church and pick a seat close to the tabernacle. Ask your priest if there are special hours of Exposition, when they take Jesus out from the tabernacle and place him on the altar so you can see him as you pray. Inquire if any churches nearby have a special Adoration Chapel. Then, make an appointment with Jesus, a time for you to look forward to, just the two of you. It could be a precious 10-minute visit. Or if you can, try to make it a Holy Hour – an hour of visiting with Jesus.
And if you’re worried you’ll feel awkward or fidgety, or that you won’t be able to hear his voice– you are not alone! As Daughters of St Paul, we have something we call “the Truth-Way-Life Method” to help us dive deep and listen to Jesus. For an hour visit, you can try giving each step about 20 minutes. It goes like this:
Step 1, TRUTH: Place yourself before Jesus and greet him in silence. When your heart is ready, open up a Gospel passage (the daily gospel, a favourite story, etc). Read the passage slowly, focusing on Jesus’ words. Reflect on this passage. What is your reaction? How do any of the words relate to you? What is Jesus saying?
Step 2, WAY: In light of what Jesus spoke in the Scripture, look at your own life. How is he inviting you to open up more to him, to enter your life more deeply? How can you make room for him?
Step 3, LIFE: In light of his inspiration, pray for the faith, hope and love you will need to live this out in your daily life, and intercede for those you love. You can pray your own words, or a rosary or chaplet.
I pray you will find and treasure this secret place with Jesus. He waits for you with open arms.
Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life,
form yourself in me,
that I may see with your eyes,
smile with your smile,
and love with your heart.
Mary, our Mother, Teacher, and Queen,
pray for us.