The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Adoration

This year my wife and I have been blessed to be asked to sponsor a couple in through our RCIA program. It seems every year the Holy Spirit directs these new souls to us, and it is an honor we take very seriously. Our couple this year are young enough to be our own kids, and they plan to get married in June. I can't say I've gotten past feeling old by that fact. Mostly I try just not to think about it. They do remind me of how my wife and I were at their age.

One of the gifts of the Church I want to impart to them is Eucharistic Adoration. Our parish has a 24/7 adoration chapel. I've been trying to think of a way to explain the importance of this for some time. Neither of these kids come from a religious background. Her parents are a lovely couple from Fiji with a Hindu background, and I'm not really sure about his family, though he did mention at one time they went to a Jehovah's Witness church.

It strikes me that the Eucharist in the monstrance is similar to the lights in the firmament of the heavens. Consider the infinite nature of the universe. Its vastness goes beyond human comprehension. And yet, in the night sky, we see these points of light that remind us of something beyond our earth-bound existence. These stars are physical. They have substance, and we're fascinated by their existence. In our effort to understand their reason, we study them in the science of astronomy or the subjective practice of astrology. We ponder the possibility of moving away from this planet and traveling to these distant mysteries of wonder. At the same time, we recognize that while those stars are distant from our planet, our planet and those far off sources of light are all part of the oneness of the universe.

Now let's consider God. He is infinite. He transcends time, space, and sensuality. His vastness is far beyond our human comprehension, and yet in His love and mercy He wants us to know that He is there. Before Adam and Eve fell, humanity was in full communion with Him. After the fall, humanity was shrouded from experiencing God to the fullest.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

The point of light that God gave to humanity was His only son, Jesus Christ. Unlike the stars, this light is not beyond our reach. It is ever present in our fallen reality so that we may have hope for what lies beyond the thin veil separating Heaven and Earth. And this is not a concept or an opinion. It is real. Body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ are tangible. Communion with our Lord is possible in the here and now.

This is the fascination, awe, and splendor one experiences in the adoration chapel. Like a child gazing at the night sky contemplating the beauty and even adventure of it all, we come before our Lord. A simple host in a vessel of honor becomes a portal to peer into eternity where present, past and future meld into one.

And if one allows oneself to empty all the cares, worries, and distractions of the day; in the quiet of the moment one will hear the continuous conversation God carries on with His children on an individual basis. It is a whisper heard not by the ears of reason or the imagination of the mind but rather by every fiber of ones being. It is the voice of love.

I don't know if that will make any sense at all to our couple we are sponsoring, but if nothing else it should help to elevate that which is beyond full human appreciation. It also gives me the yearning to spend an hour with Our Lord in adoration.

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