For the past many months, my schedule has been very erratic, with lots of travels, deadlines, and unexpected things needing my attention. Most of it has been truly good. However, this did pose a problem for me, as it interfered with my usual time for Eucharistic Adoration. It didn’t take long for me to discover that I sorely missed my time with Jesus.
That’s when I discovered the beauty of adoring Jesus in my heart. It was quite by accident, really, on a day when I – once again – would have to miss Eucharistic Adoration at my parish. It made me not only sad, but grumpy and I complained to our Lord about it. I poured out my heart, expressing my frustration and sadness and wishing for the gift of bi-location. Then I had an inspiration. I sat back, closed my eyes, and imagined myself to be sitting in the pews before the Monstrance. I told Jesus all of the things that I would have told him if I had been Eucharistic Adoration in person. Before long, I felt at peace and realized that I had happened upon something truly important. While I could not adore Jesus in his Real Presence, I could adore his presence in my heart!
Jesus is always within me, and he’s always within you as well. He promised this to all of us during his Last Discourse the night before he died.
“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” (John 14:18-20)
Indeed, Jesus dwells in those who believe in him and open their hearts to his grace. He’s there all the time, ever-present to us, if only we recognize him waiting there in our hearts. Until that moment of desperation, I had never given serious thought to adoring Jesus in my heart. Of course, I pray to him and tell him that I love him. Definitely, I petition him when I’m in need. But the idea of sitting quietly and focusing only on his presence within me and nothing else was new to me.
It doesn’t supplant actual Eucharistic Adoration, because nothing can take the place of giving praise, worship, and surrender to the Blessed Sacrament. But, it still is a worthy act of adoration when done in the proper state of mind and heart. Since the day I discovered it accidentally, I’ve begun to use this method of spiritual adoration on a daily basis, including on days when I actually can make it to Eucharistic Adoration. Now, I can’t imagine a day without it.
Here’s a quote from St. Ambrose that seems to describe perfectly the act of spiritual adoration. I’ve found it helpful – perhaps you will, too.
Let your door stand open to receive Him, unlock your soul to Him, offer Him a welcome in your mind, and then you will see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace. Throw wide the gate of your heart, stand before the sun of the everlasting light. ~St. Ambrose