The primary charism of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration is perpetual adoration. Two sisters are always in the adoration chapel praying for the needs of the world and adoring Jesus in the Eucharist twenty-four hours a day. I have recently begun to take hours of adoration during the night. It is a great privilege and blessing to wake up during the night to spend an hour with Jesus and participate in this great charism.
As I go to adoration, it is so quiet as I enter the chapel. The chapel itself is dimly lit, but Jesus is brightly illuminated. During my hour I spend a lot of time just looking at Jesus. It’s hard to look away. I am always so struck by the depth of His love. Jesus said He would be with us always. He comes to us in the Eucharist to be with us, to enter into us as we receive Him in Holy Communion so that He can transform us into Himself. He is Love, and He showers love and blessings on us. These mysteries just take my breath away, and I gaze in awe.
St. Francis said, “O sublime humility! O humble sublimity!” to describe the Eucharist. These words echo through my head often in adoration. God Himself appears to us as bread. He is completely vulnerable in the hands of the priest at the moment of consecration. He’s held in hands. He’s consumed. He is carried to and from the tabernacle. The God of the Universe, the King of Kings sits in a monstrance right in front of me in the form of a thin wafer of bread. He is truly present, and again, the mystery takes my breath away.
In our adoration chapel we pray for all the requests sent to us via our website and other means. As I pray for these intentions, for the intentions of the Church, for the Holy Father, for priests, for those I have met, for those I dearly love, I become more aware of the needs of the world. So many people are hurting. So many people feel lost, confused, in pain, alone. So many people need prayers. In the chapel with Jesus I open my heart to them and pray for those in need, both for specific needs written down or otherwise known to me and for those known only to God. In the quiet hours of adoration I am beginning to understand more deeply the meaning of spiritual motherhood. Here in the chapel with Jesus I can mother the world. I feel close to those I have never met, to those I love who are separated by distance, and to those I see every day. These intentions I pray for do not leave me once I leave the chapel. They stay with me as I go about my day, and I notice new intentions to pray for every day. It is such a privilege, and I am only just beginning to understand it. It takes my breath away.
Sitting in the adoration chapel reminds me of why I entered religious life as a postulant just weeks ago. The love of Jesus washes over me again, and I respond with my love. He is the center of my life and the Love in my heart. He gave all of us His entire self. I want to give Jesus my whole self. I want to love Him with my whole being and share this love with others. I want to make my whole life an act of adoration.
~ Miss Jessica