This past weekend we had an awesome opportunity for adoration on Saturday night. The team had prepared the girls for this encounter with our Eucharistic Lord through a series of talks, small group discussions and reflections. They had been to confession that afternoon and most were in a place of peace and joy. Many of these young woman have not been exposed to Adoration. I am so thankful to our pastor for re-introducing it to our community of faith. We now have morning adoration three days a week. It has brought an abundance of graces to our parish.
Before going into the chapel the compound was filled with giggling, flying frisbees, quiet conversations of small groups discussing everything from teachers, parents, and the play tryouts next week. The sun was beginning to make it's way west and the dusk of early evening had begun to fall. So we gathered the girls and into the chapel where our fabulous musician was playing softly and Father stood towards the back of the chapel with his head bowed in prayer.
The girls filed in. Candles were lit and the church was filled with a soft lovely glow. The retreat leader then explained what was going to happen next...adoration and the opportunity for the girls to be prayed over.
Now I have been prayed over before and it is a very powerful experience. Words of knowledge can sometimes be spoken. Whenever I am asked to pray over someone, I immediately call upon the Holy Spirit for His assistance, always making sure my head and heart are free and open to God's whispers.
Adoration began and the musician played a series of praise and worship songs. As I looked around at the many responses to Our Lords presence, I was struck by the sense of peace I was feeling. God was in the House and the time had come for the altar call. I went forward kneeling before My King and began praying for whoever God was going to bring forth. I was blessed to pray over many young woman that night. There were those that needed encouragement, healing, compassion and a listening heart. It was very powerful and I am so grateful to God for allowing me that privilege.
Then it was time for the Eucharistic Procession. Father told the girls the story of the woman of great faith who reached and touched Jesus garment knowing He would heal her. He encouraged them to do the same as he walked past with Our Lord. The musician and singers began to sing Watermarks "Captivated" and I was so moved. I watched Father bring the monstrance in front of each one of the girls allowing them to touch Our Lord. Tears come to my eyes even now, just thinking about it. The love in their eyes, the humility and timidness, the innocence, was breathtaking to behold. There were tears, smiles, bows, and kisses. So much grace flowed forth from Our Beloved.
I challenged some of my girls earlier in the day to think of themselves as pitchers of water pouring themselves out for their family and friends. But what would happen when the pitcher was empty? Who would fill them up? The only well that never dries up is that of Christ. He will fill them with all the love the ever need. I watched that night as understanding dawned on their faces, as the love of God flowed freely infusing them with all they would need to come down the mountain and face the world once more.
Later that evening during our final small group one young lady relayed this story. I have changed the names for privacy.
Me: So what did you think about Adoration? (looking around the table) Did anything special come to mind?
Matilda: Miss Mary, something weird happened and I am not sure what to think about it.
Me: What happened?
Matilda: Well, before I came on retreat, my best friend and I got into a huge fight and stopped being friends. I felt betrayed and lost. I was praying tonight, really hard and well I think I got my words mixed up.
Me: How so?
Matilda: Well, I kept telling Jesus that I missed Amy. I really missed her. I just wanted my friend back. So I just kept saying, "I miss Amy. I miss Amy." Then I mixed up my words and it came out "I miss Jesus. I miss Jesus." What does that mean?
Me: (taking her hands in mine) Sweetie, you didn't mix up your words. You were just introduced to the only friend who will never betray you or leave you. He will never disappoint or abandon. Sometimes, God allows things to happen in our life so that we will cling to Him. Jesus will be everything that Amy cannot be right now. A unfailing friend for life. That is awesome!
Matilda: (smiling) Wow! That is cool! So what do I do now?
Me: You keep talking to Him. You keep those lines of communication open, always. He will help you with your friendship with Amy. He will guide that healing if it is His will. He will be there for you Matilda, through everything. Don't ever forget that. (hugs exchanged)
What else can I say? Jesus did His job that night and changed a young woman's heart forever.
We adore you O Christ and we praise you. Because by your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.