Finding Time for Eucharistic Adoration
Today’s post is written by The Practicing Catholic contributor Kasey Eoriatti who lives in suburban Des Moines, Iowa with husband Alan their three children. The Eoriattis are active parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in West Des Moines. Kasey teaches first grade at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Des Moines.
I had parent teacher conferences scheduled for three nights that week. Those require so much preparation and time away from my family…If she was looking for excuses, I had plenty; but I also had a mouthful of blazing hot toothpaste coupled with an inner sense that being busy was the perfect reason to visit Jesus. I asked for the 6:30 p.m. spot so I could go straight from conferences to the church. As I clapped shut the phone, I realized aside from having a jammed packed work day, it was Valentine’s Day. Oops.
But if there is one luxury to being married for 12 and a half years, it is that platitudinous displays of love are less necessary than they once were. Boxes of chocolates are nice and fancy restaurants are charming, but in marriage it turns out to be the moments of cleaning up children, watching dance recitals, cheering for pint-sized football players, laughing with each other in light moments, and comforting each other in dark moments that really communicate the sentiments of a seven dollar card. So, I went to adoration.
As my shoes clopped against the sidewalk toward church, it suddenly occurred to me that there was really no other place I wanted to be on Valentine’s Day than before the Blessed Sacrament. Originally the preoccupations of my day had made this trip just one more entry in an overbooked planner, but now it was now a joyful privilege. My heart was full.
Sometimes lost amid the chaos of my life I forget that the very God who created planets, carved mountains, and made each of us asks for little more than love in return. Jesus tells us, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). God only commands us to do what is good for us; loving God must be our priority. God isn’t an ego-maniac. He gave us the greatest commandment because He knows that whenever we pray, attend adoration, read scripture, fast, or attend Mass we will gain far more than we give at any of those moments. Archbishop Fulton Sheen echoes that sentiment in his autobiography, Treasure in Clay. In regards to Eucharistic adoration he states, “We become like that which we gaze upon. Looking into a sunset, the face takes on a golden glow. Looking at our Eucharistic Lord for an hour transforms the heart in a mysterious way,” (198).
As I knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, I knew I knelt before the actual presence of Christ, of God made flesh for the sake of love. I must have been out of my mind to think I didn’t have 30 minutes to spend with God, the source of all love. It was a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day. I wonder . . . does Hallmark have a card for that?
Jesus said to them,”I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6:35).
* Background of The Defenders of the Eucharist by Peter Paul Ruben
In the early part of the 1600’s, certain factions of the Church refuted the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. As a response and defense of the Real Presence, Peter Paul Ruben painted The Defenders of the Eucharist to inspire his fellow Catholics to hold fast to the authentic teachings of the truth and maintain their belief in the Real Presence of Christ. Depicted saints include: St. Jerome, St. Norbert, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Clare of Assisi, St. Gregory, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine.