Every Friday morning, I have an appointment that is sacred.
By which I mean, I keep it at all costs, schedule around it and don’t miss it unless I have a darn good reason.
By which I mean, somebody is sick, I am sick, or my husband or babysitter can’t be here, or an appointment is SO important that I will miss my standing one, just this once.
By which I mean, if I don’t go my day, my week, gets out of whack a bit and I have to fight myself not to sulk just a touch.
Sacred, by which I mean: it is Sacred time. Holy. Of God, not men.
Every Friday morning, I have a standing slot of adoration.
This is one of those Catholic things. One of those that I used to think was a little bit nuts maybe…
Ok, for some I guess, but I was sure I would never manage it because I was way too busy and really, who can just sit for an hour? Really?
But about, oh six or seven years ago, I agreed to give it a try. One of our local parishes was starting up Perpetual Adoration and needed people to be able to sign up for an hour. A serious commitment, you had to be there if it was your hour.
No, “Oh gee, I forgot.”
No, “You know, I’m just not feeling it today.”
It was a commitment, to Christ himself. Talk about pressure! But I signed up. Coffeedoc and I each took an hour, separate days. You have an adoration partner who also mans your slot, it’s so important to have someone there.
Adoration is based on the Catholic belief of Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist, and the line “can you not stay with me for one hour?” So we do. We go and sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament, Christ himself, exposed in a monstrance, on top of the tabernacle. We pray. We read sometimes, spiritual reading, lectio divina. Sometimes we just sit. We look at Christ and He looks back at us. We keep Him company.
It made me so nervous to start this. I worried about being able to slow down and SIT down for an hour without getting all fidgety and twitchy….worried about being able to slow down the little gerbil mill of my mind and just BE there, quietly and mindfully and prayerfully. Such pressure!
What I found however, was that it is one of the best hours of my week. It is certainly one of the quietest, but it is also one where I can simply be. It is a phenomenal comfort, it is like drinking cold clear water. It is sacred.
When I used to bring Little Man with me – back when he was just Little Babe….it brought home to me a deeper parallel. Little Man/Babe would lie in my arms, and just gaze at me (he was only 3 or 4 months old), and I would gaze back at him.
And that was when I got it.
I didn’t have to come up with the profound words or prayers. I didn’t have to formulate the right way to get my ideas across. I only had to be there, and gaze at God himself. Just look at Him. And He would look back at me.
And that was not only enough, it was everything.
So, today, I had another appointment that was so pressing, so important, that I had to get a sub for adoration (thanks Jeanmarie). And I have been mildly out of sorts all day, partly due to that, as usual.
By which I mean, I was in a mild funk, until I realized something this afternoon. (Remember, I am a slow learner.) As I watched Sbird and little Gabe, just happily and calmly, peacefully, sit together in the big old faded chair in our sunroom….I realized, that I really hadn’t missed adoration at all.
I just had to open my eyes to see it; slow down my gerbil mill mind, stop my endless shark cruise through the house, and gaze on the very presence of God. Not quite the same as in the adoration chapel. But, still. He was right in my sunroom, His love and presence squooshed together grinning at each other in a big old faded chintz chair.
So I sat down, and spent an hour or more, just being there, with them all.