Over the past few weeks, the postulants have started taking hours of adoration in the middle of the night. We sign up for an hour between 10:30 pm and 4:30 am to wake up and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Our directresses are so good to let us have all of September to adjust to the convent schedule, but at last, we get to participate in the heart of our community as Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.
I was nervous for my first night adoration. Would I wake up to my alarm? Would I fall down the stairs in the dark? Would I be exhausted the next day? As soon as I entered the adoration chapel, I was overwhelmed with the Lord’s peace. As I knelt there at 1:30 am, I realized what an enormous privilege and responsibility perpetual adoration is. For 154 years, there have been at least two of our Sisters adoring Jesus around the clock, and now it is my turn to join this legacy. I get to be a part of this! Every one of the older Sisters I so look up to have knelt in those very pews, have given up hours of sleep in fidelity to our charism. Without their faithfulness, I would not be here as a postulant in 2017. Where else could this dedication come from except authentic love for our Lord Jesus? I am so blessed to be among living saints every day, living here at the convent with our Sisters, and I am filled with gratitude for their service to our community and to God.
During night adoration, my heart is often filled with the beautiful image of Our Lady laying the infant Jesus in my arms. She hovers near my shoulder but entrusts me to care for the Divine Child. Sometimes He needs consoling and comforting, but sometimes I just gaze on His beauty. He gazes back at me with eyes of trust and mercy. Jesus is so precious, I want to hold Him to my heart and protect Him from any danger. I would do anything to prolong this moment. The all-powerful Lord, King of the Universe, humbles Himself to be a helpless baby in my arms. This truth fills me with such wonder and awe! When I pray for the needs of the Church, getting up in the middle of the night to console the hurting, aching Body of Christ, I am comforting the Sacred Heart of Jesus Himself. What a gift, the grace of spiritual motherhood!
As I reflect on our charism of perpetual adoration, I realize more and more how counter-cultural it seems. In the eyes of the secular world, we are sacrificing hours of recharging sleep to sit in front of a piece of bread. But through the eyes of faith, we are privileged to kneel at the feet of our King, our Lord, our God, our Savior. He fills us with His love, His grace, His mercy. Our hearts are transformed in His presence. As our foundress Blessed Mother Maria Theresia said, “…in eternity we will continue what already here was the favorite occupation of our grateful heart, the adoration of God.” God is truly never outdone in His goodness.
~ Miss Emily