Imagine that your best friend is in town and you have a chance to sit down face to face together and catch up. Imagine that you have an opportunity for a personal audience with a distinguished public dignitary. Imagine you have a chance to travel back in time and chat with one of the greatest and wisest figures in history. “Too good to be true. Impossible” you say. But nothing is impossible for God. He wants a personal relationship with each of us and what better way for this to happen then by giving us the chance to spend time with Him.
Sure God is everywhere, in our hearts and can be found in those around us. And we can talk to him anytime we want. That’s all good but what’s better, talking on the phone or face to face? There’s no substitute for being physically with those we love. To grieve with them, laugh with them, cry with them and listen to them. One would have to conclude that if you could have that kind of closeness with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, this would be the most amazing things in the world. Well I’ve got news for you. Jesus is more real then you ever imagined.
I’m talking about one of the best kept secrets of our time: Adoration of the Holy Eucharist. As a Catholic I believe the consecrated host is truly and miraculously Jesus himself and He can be found in every Catholic church around the world. Many churches offer times for adoration during which the sacred host is displayed in a chapel for people to come and sit with Him,. talk with Him and listen to Him.
This year I’ve started making a regular Holly Hour each week with Jesus and that hour is one of the best parts of my week. It’s truly remarkable how quickly the time goes and how at peace I feel when leaving. I feel almost giddy at times that I get to spend that time with my dearest friend. I do some talking and tell Jesus what’s heavy on my heart. I ask Him to bless my family and friends and bring us home to heaven one day. I praise Him and thank Him for all he’s done for me. And I ask him to take away my shortcomings (there are many) and worries and make me beautiful for Him. It just depends how I feel. At times I’ve been very excited about something in my life. And other times I’ve been frustrated and hurt. Either way, Christ listens and gives me peace. And sometime I just listen. I’ll read some scripture readings and reflections as well at times and meditate on prayers such as the rosary or the stations of the cross.
One day I was even angry with God for allowing my young cousin to be killed in a car accident. I know He doesn’t will such things but my beef was that He could have stopped it. As I knelt there asking Jesus “Why?” I heard in my heart, Him ask a question back to me. “Do you Believe?” It’s a question that stung me and challenged me. I say I believe that Jesus is Lord, that God has a plan and that He finds ways to bring beauty out of ugliness. Jesus wasn’t giving me the answers but asking me to put my heart where my actions are and to trust in Him. It’s not the answer I wanted, but it’s the answer I needed and He knew that.
Many times my moments with Jesus aren’t quite so emotional. But it always amazes me how fulfilled and peaceful I feel regardless of if we had a deep conversation or if I had little to say. There are no awkward silences with Jesus. It’s actually a very intimate experience to be face to face with my maker, savior, king and friend.
Now I don’t blame people for being skeptical that it’s really truly Jesus. After all, the Eucharist still looks like a little white wafer of bread. And if Jesus can do anything, why would He choose this simple ordinary and unspectacular way to be present to us? It’s a fair question and ultimately, I can’t scientifically prove it’s Jesus. But His Word and His Church tell me that it is Him and I DO believe.
My faith in this isn’t blind however. And the best testimony I can give is to tell you how being in His presence makes me feel. But could this just be my own emotional excitement projecting ideas I have? This is another fair question. But I’ll point to a time recently when I went to make a Holy Hour and the Eucharist wasn’t there on display due to an out of the ordinary event after which our priest forgot to place the Host back in the adoration chapel. I stayed for the hour anyway doing scripture reading and prayers like I normally do. I even talked with the Lord in my heart as I know He is always with us. But it wasn’t the same. Something was missing and it was surprisingly obvious to me. Even in the days that followed, I just didn’t feel as warm and close to Jesus as I typically do after a Holy Hour. I guess when you are longing to be spend time with someone, there’s just no substitute for the real thing.
It baffles the mind that spending a quite hour in prayer could make me feel more centered, at peace and joyful. But that is what happens. The people of Jesus’s time thought it was crazy that God would be present to them in Jesus, born to simple people in a simple town. As Christians we now see that this was God’s plan and what a beautiful thing it is that he He came into our world this way. He’s just as real to us today as He was 2000 years ago so don’t miss out on one of the greatest gifts you could ever receive. Being with Jesus in this special time is a glimpse of Heaven hear on Earth. I’ve gotten a taste of it and boy do I want more.