by Katie Laskey, Coordinator of Youth Ministry
My earliest experience of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament came after the Holy Thursday liturgy at my childhood parish in New Jersey. At the end of mass, chairs circled the altar and parishioners were invited to stay and sit with Jesus throughout the night. As a kid, I only stayed for 20 minutes or so, until my mom said it was time to leave. In my mind, Adoration was a once-a-year event until I got a chance to experience it somewhere else.
My next exposure to Adoration came when I attended Notre Dame Vision, a weeklong summer program for high school students that explores vocation and living faith in the modern world. Three hundred high school students from across the country filed into a dorm chapel. This experience of Adoration was more structured than my parish’s Holy Thursday ritual. After the procession with the monstrance, there were spoken prayers, sung psalms, and then quiet time for all of us to pray. Folks were all in different postures, from kneeling to standing, but everyone was doing the same thing - talking to Jesus, fully present in the chapel with us. I felt the Spirit with me in a palpable way that day, and I held onto that experience as I matured in my faith.
Now, as an adult, I live with two other Catholic young adult women who are actively practicing their faith. Going to Adoration has never been part of my regular practice, but one of my roommates makes a point to go to one of the churches near our home once a week to sit with Jesus.The way she talks about relishing that one-on-one time with Christ is a level of personal connection with Jesus that I still aspire to. She taught me this metaphor: If praying to Jesus any time, anywhere is like talking on the phone, then praying to Jesus with the Blessed Sacrament exposed is like sitting together face to face. When I sit in Adoration in the St. Ignatius Chapel on Wednesday evenings, I feel Jesus with me in a unique way. Sometimes I picture Him sitting on the altar, feet swinging, smiling gleefully at the folks who have come to be with HIm. Sometimes, with my eyes closed, I sense Him sitting next to me, not saying anything, just being with me in whatever burden I’m carrying.
My favorite part of Adoration at this point in my faith journey is that I leave feeling energized to continue my ministry with youth and to be present to my family and friends. It is a deeply personal experience that motivates me to make Jesus’s presence known in the world. If you’ve never or rarely had an experience with Adoration, this Wednesday in the chapel from 6-7pm is the last chance you have to experience this way of praying during this liturgical season at Holy Trinity. I hope you’ll accept Jesus’s invitation to meet face to face in a beautiful, quiet place.