Sunday, July 24, 2005

Yes, it's exactly like that!

As some of y'all know, I like to go to Adoration every week when I'm in Athens. Here's a great article on it:

"The Gaze"

by Pat Gohn

In formal settings, when a Catholic church sets up a weekly or daily schedule of Adoration or Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, volunteers (like me) sign up to pray during a designated hour. The Blessed Sacrament, meaning the large consecrated Host that a priest elevates during Mass, is exposed or revealed in a monstrance usually an ornate vessel that displays the Host on an altar. Catholics believe in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. When we sit, stand or kneel before the Blessed Host consecrated at Mass we are doing so before Jesus Himself. Jesus is there completely in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread ...

... A friend invited me to the weekly parish prayer group. Hours before the prayer group met, the church was open for silent Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. One night, I knelt down in the pew, settled my attention on the monstrance, and I saw His face. Not literally, but in my mind's eye. Maybe I should say I knew in a powerful way that Jesus there, focused on me. I saw Jesus looking at me with deep, deep love that reached into the hidden places in my soul. His gaze took my breath away. And I realized that my heart rate was quickening, not in a disturbing way, but in a Song-of-Songs-here-is-the-lover-of-my-soul kind of way.

The Gaze needed no words. I was known. By Him. I didn't have to explain, petition, or make excuses. I could just be. And I gave Him my gaze. And there we were, exchanging gaze for gaze. Like lovers.

Later on, I was struck by another reality. I had seen this Gaze before: in the eyes of my husband, in the face of my baby at the breast, in the countenance of a dear friend. The Gaze had been present to me in and through the beloved ones in my life. But now, before this altar, Jesus had me all to Himself. He was the lover and I was the beloved.
I highly reccomend you read the whole article! It's a great "So Why Do You Want To Be a Nun" article, too. I seem to be collecting those, har har. And if anyone wants to join me some Saturday at St. Paul's, they're more than welcome :)

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