Monday, August 30, 2010

Faithfulness in spending time with the Eucharistic Lord

“What do we do with our time in the Adoration Room, Father?” is a question that I have been asked by both baptised Catholics and Catechumens alike. We all know that prayer is important, and it has been said by many spiritual greats that a most noble thing to do is to spend a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament daily. But some have shared with me that they feel a sense of boredom and tiredness after the first five or ten minutes in the silence of the adoration room. This shouldn’t surprise anybody.

In our spiritual lives, what we are developing is a relationship with God. The only thing that we have in this life that gives us any similar experience is our relationship with people (or animals for some). What sustains a marriage is not the fireworks or exciting moments in a marriage. They certainly do happen, but they are not the norm. Any marriage that has lasted more than ten years will attest that the moments of excitement that give us consolation and assurance are like ‘treats’. Dependence on ‘treats’ all the time can become ‘threats’ when they are missing. There is the phrase in the English language that when something lasts, it ‘stands the test of time’. We don’t say that it ‘stands the test of excitement’. A marriage that celebrates a milestone of 25 or 50 years is precisely that – half a century of staying in the boredom, the silence, the non-exciting moments and yes, even the fights and disagreements that grew the couple and matured their sacrificing love for each other.

My own parents are going to celebrate their 50 years of married life next year in December, and I will be the first to attest that these 50 years were not a bed of roses. Then again, perhaps it really has been a bed of roses – complete with the thorns. But I am very proud to say that mum and dad have stayed in their difficulties and stresses and strains, being an example for me to stay in my priesthood when there are great moments of stresses and strains too. Most couples only want the bliss in their marriage. There’s nothing wrong with that, but with the bliss come the blisters as well.

What a regular holy hour does for us is to train us for those moments when nothing is quite happening in our lives, in our marriages, and in our priesthood. When there are no fireworks, no affirmations, no great insights, and no excitement. But we stay in there for the full hour till the buzzer sounds because we want to be people of commitment, which leads to help us to become people of maturity and people of substance.

Moreover, we stick to our holy hour not so much for what it gives to us, but also for what it allows us to give to God, especially when it is done with love. When a couple stays in a marriage that isn’t exciting but because they love, it is a sign that they somehow know that loving embraces a suffering that comes in many ways.

So, to the question “what do I do with our time in the Adoration Room, Father?” my answer would be “just decide to stay there, in fidelity, and be present to Real Presence, and love will be really present in the decision”. After all, in order for love to be endearing, it has to be enduring as well.


  1. Thank you Fr Luke,for the reminder and the sharing.God Bless.

  2. Thank you for the much needed perpsective on how to offer the time at adoration when I am struggling with the being still.
    God bless you,

  3. instead of blisters, they should be called bliss-ters. 'cos in the midst of the pain that we may feel, God will direct us to eternal life and eternal bliss with him. :)

  4. Thank you Fr Luke. Really enjoyed/gained from your post.

  5. On a very superficial level, there is a compulsion to keep a conversation going when in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Guess it is a human desire to appear interesting and witty in conversation but we forget that our God knows us through and through. I can imagine the loving gaze that is cast upon us and the tilt of a smile at the corner of His mouth when we suddenly realise at that exact moment oh, so futile!


  6. " A marriage that celebrates a milestone of 25 or 50 years.....half a century of staying in the boredom, the silence,.......and matured their sacrificing love for each other. " I can't agree with you more ! It is also in the silence that we get down to listening with the ears of our heart. Silence can be comforting, accepting,loving & companionable and very necessary too, between a couple who's shared a decade or more of married life together.The important thing is in being present to the other's presence.

    And so it is too, between us and God. When we come to Him in the Blessed Sacrament, we come to make ourselves " temporarily deaf to the noises of this world so that we can be sensitive to the deeper sounds by which the one who made the universe and dwells in the depths of our hearts speaks to our inmost souls " - (G Pierse C.SS.R.) In short, we come like the child Samuel to ask Him to 'speak Lord, for your servant is listening..' So actually, in our passivity of silence, a listening silence, we are actively attentive. Again it calls for a fidelity to ' be-ing in the presence'

  7. Thank you for the affirmation about the decision to stay in a commitment, the decision to love - be it a spouse or children, for better or for worse .... And that love may even be rejected by those whom we choose to love. Yet that decision to stay committed no matter what, to stay in love, in faithfulness, till death do us part is not easy. There are thorns, unwanted bugs along the way, but that commitment means we are just there to love, no matter what. Some days we do see flowers budding, smell the fragrance, see the fruits of our love.

  8. This story helped me to understand better what adoration was about...

    There was an old peasant who every day went into the church before going to his labor in the fields, and again when he returned. There he used to remain for a long while quite motionless and mute, with his eyes fixed on the Tabernacle.

    "Pere Chaffangeon, what do you say to our Lord during your visits?" St John Vianney asked him one day, surprised at never seeing his lips move.

    "I say nothing to Him and He says nothing to me, but I look at Him and He looks at me".

    A simple, yet profound declaration.

    "All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit."
    - 2 Corinthians 3:18

    This is what the little French guy was doing, gazing upon the Lord and being transformed.

    As a Sister once put it... silent adoration is akin to the comfortable silence that we have in the company of those we love. Nothing is required but a blissful contentment of being in each others presence.

  9. It's wonderful that you remind us that our relationship of Christ is a realtionship of LOVE. When seen that way, the objections dissolve. After all, even is one is bored, angry, etc., with the one they love, most people, if asked, with rather be with than without his wife, mother, father, husband, etc.

    Of course we must always remember that Christ is a dynamic living Presence that's always moving toward us and that all we have to do is surrender to the gift of His love.

    Pax Christi.