Eucharistic Adoration: rest for a busy life

Don’t omit your visits to the Blessed Sacrament. After saying your usual prayer tell Jesus, really present in the tabernacle, about the cares and worries of your day. And He will give you light and courage for your life as a Christian. – St. Josemaria Escriva

For most people, when we’re asked how we are or what’s new in our life, the answer often is: “I’m so busy.” Busyness is a poverty of our time. We’re occupied with the kids, our job, our family and friends, our education, our life. The first few weeks in the new year add to our activity as we try to keep up with all those well-intentioned resolutions made in the final hours of the previous year. Those of us who live in the northern hemisphere have the added stress of cold temperatures and lack of sunlight. Add it all up and it’s enough to make anyone feel weary and over-burdened.

On a recent Friday, I was feeling the effects of a hectic week. Between winter driving headaches, doctors’ appointments, bills to pay, kids’ after-school activities and work responsibilities, I was done. I had had enough.

Driving home from work, I inwardly debated turning into the mall and treating myself to a little something. Didn’t I deserve to be pampered? But right across the street from the mall was a twenty-four hour Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. I turned in there instead.

In the book Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Alphonsus Ligouri wrote that “among all devotions after that of receiving the Sacraments, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament holds first place, is the most pleasing to God and the most useful to ourselves. … You must also be aware that in a quarter of an hour’s prayer spent in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, you will perhaps gain more than in all the other spiritual exercises of the day. … Jesus dispenses His graces in greater abundance to those who visit Him in the Most Holy Sacrament.”

After half an hour of silence before Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration, I headed home. There was still dinner to cook, kids to drive to swimming lessons, and paperwork to complete, but I no longer felt drained. The tiredness and anxiety of my body and soul were replaced with calm reassurance and focus. Regularly spending time in His presence before the tabernacle or in Eucharistic Adoration is infinitely better for the weary and over-burdened than a trip to the mall, a few rounds at the pub, or anything else for that matter. “Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).

Ultimately, the answer to our weariness and busy lives isn’t having efficient schedules or being able to multitask. For the most part, the solution isn’t even to cut back on our activities. What matters is our relationship with Christ and how we allow Him to permeate and take over our life. Only that will give us peace.

Photo: Eucharistic Adoration at Assumption Farm. Courtesy of Father Allan MacDonald, Vocations Director, Companions of the Cross.

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