Saturday, April 5, 2008

Adoration – Therapy for the Soul

I’ve been in therapy. Years ago when the crossroads of a childhood lived in a home in perpetual crisis intersected with the PTSD that some folks experience from growing up in crisis. It helped and my therapist was a kind and generous woman. She likened the process with physical healing. Physical injuries heal, and the body continues to function, but often with permanent scars, and sometimes not in the same way as it would have had the injury not taken place. So it is with our psyches and our emotions she reasoned. And to a certain extent she was right, but for me there was always lingering anxiety, lingering bouts with depression. Right up until I had my own little road to Damascus experience.

Truly when I came to understand the reality of who Christ is and what he has done for us I’ve never been the same. I’ve been concerned over things, but never anxious, sorrowful, but never depressed. Such is the healing power of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the master healer of not only our physical bodies, our minds and our emotions, but of our very souls. He redeems what was lost, he seeks out and reclaims his own, he pulls us out of Satan’s steely grip, he leads us beside still waters, and one of the ways he does this on a personal level is through Eucharistic Adoration.

How does time spent with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament bring healing to our mind, body and soul? We may as well ask how does Jesus raise the dead? We don’t see how he works, we don’t know how he weds the miraculous with the mundane. Frankly, that’s none of our concern, we can’t understand it anyway, so there’s no need to spend time with the question. Better to spend time analyzing the results.

When I first began going to weekly Adoration I had a very hard time sitting still. It would take me fifteen to twenty minutes simply to settle down. I don’t pick up anything to read for at least the first half hour. I just sit still. Most of us don’t get much time to sit still in our lives. I try to quiet my mind, but that can take the full half hour. I can usually tell when I am getting settled down because my shoulders will begin to relax and drop down from being pinched up around my ears. Once I’ve settled down I can spend the next half hour just being with the Lord.

Adoration is not about doing, it is about being, being with God, being exactly who he created us to be. It’s about being quiet enough to simply listen and like Elijah hear God's gentle whisper. It’s about letting his peace, the peace that surpasses understanding wash over our souls. It’s about letting Jesus guide us on that level, the level of the soul, a level that the mind does not always comprehend. It’s about being submissive to God’s desire to heal us, and guide us, and teach us. It’s about allowing God to take the reins of our lives and having the trust of a child that he will care for us, and that even those things which seam to terrible to contemplate will work together for good.

The insights I get in life, the little helps and guidance don’t necessarily come to me during Adoration, but I am completely convinced that time spent in Adoration makes me more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and inspiration when it does come. Which for me is often in that half asleep time first thing in the morning as I’m waking up. Of course sometimes the Holy Spirit’s inspiration comes in most unexpected ways like in the middle of a disagreement with Hubby when I pray “Come Holy Spirit” and he does with an eloquent, heartfelt and most unexpected apology rolling out of my mouth when nothing of the kind was there seconds before.

As Catholics we have so many awesome devotions, so many ways to draw close to our Lord and hide ourselves in his heart, and so many, many guides and companions in the Saints. The richness of the tapestry of Catholic faith is beautiful to behold, but the source, the very summit of the faith is Jesus, and spending time with him in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is life changing.

Lord teach us to pray that we may sing of your glory forever. Amen

3 comments:

Jenny said...

So beautiful... and so true.

I've been lax in my practice of adoration lately, dissatisfied to simply sit and be in the Lord's presence.

I want answers. I want solutions. I want action... but He only wants me. Quiet, attentive, and present to Him as He is to us. It's mind-blowing.

Abigail said...

I love, love, love Adoration. I'm still a newbie at it though. I'll have to adopt your "wait until your shoulder's leave your ears', that means you're finally "present" approach.

(The physical pain metaphor really worked for me also. I've got a flair up of anxiety around money that my therapist compared to an "old knee injury". It really helped to visualize an old mental scar that simply needs some on going physical therapy now and then.)

Anne Marie said...

Jenny:

I’ve noticed that type A personality trait in your writing. I especially liked the snippet about climbing up on a chair to discuss the DJs music selection while out with friends. I can relate although time has mellowed me out a bit. The thing Adoration does for me is help keep the end game in mind. In fact it’s the only place on earth where we actually get to participate in the end game right here and now. That’s the really cool part.


Abigail:

Thanks. I really enjoy your blog. I especially liked the Lenten art series. I’m not well versed in art so I got a lot out of it.