Can You Walk on Water? Life lessons learned in Eucharistic Adoration
Or are you just rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic?
Last week was first Friday, which means Nocturnal Adoration at my parish. I work an odd shift, so when I get out of work, it is usually a good time to go and sit with Him for an hour or so and just check in. This month, my wife decided she would come along as well and we both sat for a while with the Lord. It was her first time going and at the end she told me that the realization she came to in her time with the Lord, was that she, in her own words, sucks, because she doesn't spend enough time in prayer and quiet with Jesus. I am right next to her in that boat!
I am right next to her in that boat! So as someone who loves her and wants what is best for her, I should be looking toward bettering both of our prayer lives. Perhaps we could read the next day's readings together before we go to bed like we did when we were first married. We could tie it in with discussing her observations for NFP (a practice I will not share the details of here, but also an area where we need to improve our consistency).
But if she were ever to ask me what to do for Adoration, I would be no use to her. I couldn't help her decide what to do, because quite frankly, I am never quite sure what to do during Adoration. Part of the time I sit in silent conversation with Christ, bringing my needs to Him and expressing my gratitude, and asking His mercy for my too frequent lack of gratitude. Some of the time I spend asking His help for the things I think I need. The rest of the time I spend listening. Sometimes silently, and sometimes by reading some of the readings out of the missal. I look for something to jump out at me, you know? I wait for that 'aha!' moment where His voice rings in my ears with the choirs of angels saying, "Tom, this is what you should do! This is my will for you!"
I read scripture waiting for words to light up on the page spelling out my path like a giant 'highlighter from Heaven' pointing out the parts of the readings that are a must-see for me!
As of yet, neither of these things has happened. If they do happen, I'll keep you posted. Perhaps God will light up numbers in the readings, prompting me to buy a winning lottery ticket. If I start writing a lot more, you'll know that this has happened and I have quit my job, but I'm not holding my breath. So how does God speak to us? He apparently does not have my email address. I have not received any text messages...
"Tom, was looking over ur plan for ur life. OMM (instead of OMG) ROFLOL. Will txt u my plan 2morrow. ;0) Your BFF, JC"
No, God would not send a text message, and if He did, I'm pretty sure He would skip the emoticons. In fact, when I was at Adoration last month, I was thinking about how He speaks to us and it led me to sit there looking at the Body of Christ in the consecrated host and thinking about Robert Frost. Or at least about Frost's poem, 'The Road Not Taken'. I imagine most of us are pretty familiar with the poem...
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
I posted the whole poem because it is just beautiful and makes me think of many things in my life. Even as I pondered it that night, in the quiet, a lot of different things came to me. It made me think of men who pursue the priesthood in these modern times when the culture we live in has so many things to discourage them from doing so. It made me think of when I was engaged for the first time. My fiancee was a perfectly nice woman, but she had not been brought up in any particular faith and I was beginning to hear the call to return to my faith, which she had no interest in pursuing. The engagement fell through and eventually, I met my wife who was beginning her journey back to the church. I cannot imagine where I would be now had I continued down that road and not followed what many would have you believe is the road less traveled by returning to the Catholic Church.
But all of these thoughts came afterward. What struck me originally was that opening image of the poem. "Two ...
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