If you are like me, prayer can be hard. Hard to find the words. Hard to keep my mind from wandering. Hard to make it a priority among all the noise around me. Christian novelist and theologian C.S. Lewis wrote in 1942 that all Satan needs to do to steal our soul, is create so much noise in the world that we simply can't hear the voice of God in our life. Looking at today's world, it certainly seems that Satan is doing just that. Because the noise around us is deafening - chaos, war, violence, bantering on social media, news sources being more tabloid than factual, constant arguing over who is right and who is wrong, tethered to cell phones, long lists of things to do, the seemingly endless demand on our time. So, the question we must ask ourselves becomes - is my world so noisy that I'm falling into Satan's trap? Fortunately, we have an old-fashioned cure to silence all this noise and put Satan in his place. It's called Eucharistic Adoration - a Catholic tradition since the early 4th century - a time to check out from the world and be along with God.
Eucharistic Adoration is spending quiet, private time with our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the Altar. We can sit there and just relax, pray, read something spiritually uplifting, or just talk to Jesus as we would a good friend. Sometimes I sit in Adoration and work on a homily or Deacon's Corner that is stuck in my mind. Other times I read, do my morning and evening prayer, or just look at Jesus while he looks back at me. For me, Adoration is a place of safe harbor from the world where the deafening noise is silenced, so I can be at peace listening to what God has to say.
I remember attending Eucharistic Adoration as a child. the church would be packed. Now, we are lucky to have a handful of people show up. If you would like to give it a try, Eucharistic Adoration takes place every Tuesday at Sacred Heart (4:45-5:45pm) and every Thursday at St. Mary on the Lake (8:00-9:00am), with both followed by Mass. Eucharistic Adoration ends with a solemn blessing, call Benediction - where the priest or deacon uses the Blessed Sacrament to bless the people. What better way is there to begin or end your day?