When I was pregnant with each of my children I would go to Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament and marvel at how when I praised God my infant would move around in my womb. As soon as I stopped, the baby within me would stop as well. At first, I couldn’t believe what I knew was happening, so I tested it out a few times. I would begin to worship, and my baby would start to move in my womb. I would stop and my baby would stop. I knew that baby was praising God right along with me. I should not have been surprised, after all didn’t St John the Baptist jump in his mother’s womb upon Mary approaching with Jesus in her womb (Luke 1:39).
When my youngest Isabelle was around 4, I picked her up from preschool one day and took her to adoration with me. I explained how she needed to sit still and be quiet, since other people would be praying. She surprised me by how quiet she became when we entered the church. After we left, I asked her how she felt, and she responded “Jesus makes me feel so full” I think this little girl with the sweet dimples put it more eloquently than any adult I have heard explain it. The fullness she experienced was the fullness that only comes when you open your heart to God.
When we spend time in the intimate presence of God we are changed. It’s like when we go to the beach, while just lying there we are changed. We come home and everyone can see the visible glow of how the sun touched us. When we spend time in the presence of the “Son” we may think nothing has happened but there is a glow in our spirit that we walk away with. “All the angels in heaven gaze with ecstasy at the image made on your soul after each holy hour you make in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; (excerpts from Letters to a Brother Priest.)
For those of you not familiar with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; let me explain. The Catholic church believes that Jesus is fully present in the Eucharist; Body, Blood Soul and Divinity. At exposition a blessed host is placed into a monstrance (a beautiful vessel to display Him) The faithful come and sit in silence and sometimes with meditation music and spend time with Jesus. Our Lord asked the disciples to watch and pray with Him for an hour, so many faithful will do a full “holy hour.” The whole point is that we spend time with the physical presence of Christ. (http://www.stmaryanacortes.org/portals/stmaryanacortes/CMAdmin/Benefits_of_Holy_Hour.pdf)
Let us learn from the example of Mary. As soon as she is filled with the Holy Spirit and conceived Jesus, the first thing she does is go and visit Elizabeth. She doesn’t keep this joy and wonder to herself; she takes it and shares it with someone. When we spend time with Jesus, we become so filled with Him that our first response to His love should be how can I share what I have received? When I walk out of adoration, I take His beautiful presence with me and am called to share it with others.
I challenge everyone this busy Advent season to find some time to be quiet with our Lord. Sit in silence with Him and let Him whisper to your heart. In the end you will walk away like my daughter feeling full, not of the weariness of the season but of the peace of Christ.
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John 1:3-5 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
How can darkness understand light?
For years I had been hearing about Low Laser Light Therapy, I spoke to one of my doctors who truly believed it was more hocus pocus than good. How can a part of your body that was never made to be exposed to light, respond to it? A few years later he was using the laser light therapy with lots of success. When I asked him why, I was blown away by his answer. You see our innermost cells were created to be receptive to light. These cells in normal circumstances would never be exposed to light, so why do they have receptors for light, and why are they being healed by laser light? Scientists tell us that it’s because light is energy and when these cells receive the “energy” they need they can start to heal, but they don’t know why the receptors are there in the first place.
By the time he finished his explanation I couldn’t stop smiling. You see as a person of faith, I know that we were created in the image and likeness of God. His very word tells us that He is the light of this world (John 8:12.) My every fiber is made to respond to Him. Not just spiritually but physically as well. I thought of how many things I carry in the inner recesses of my heart, that need healing. I thought of the darkness of my sins, and of the pain I hide so that others won’t guess what a mess I am. Then I began to understand how truly merciful and wondrous my God is. When I bring my sins, pains, and brokenness to Jesus and expose them to the light of His word, when I expose my hidden sins to Jesus, His light can heal me.
How many times had I thought to myself that I was lost and not worth finding? But Jesus comes and tells us, that not only are we worth finding, we were created to be found. There are no accidents in God’s plan. What scientist chalk up to new, unknown or accidental God had planned. Your salvation was part of His plan.
When getting a sonogram in my first pregnancy the baby was not cooperating, so the technician shined a light on the opposite side of my belly to get the baby to move towards the light. I started to cry because I knew that even before birth, even before cognitive thinking was developed we know that light is good and that we should approach it.
Psalm 18:28 says “You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
Let us bring our secrets into the Light of Jesus, our pain, our brokenness our past hurts, our anger our hatred, our frustrations, and well everything. He longs to heal us. But first we must bring these things into the light. Just like the patients who flock to low laser therapy need to show up and expose their injuries to the light. We are called to expose our injuries to Jesus. I believe that Jesus can heal us spiritually if we take this step towards Him.
Exposing our darkness is never easy. Bringing things long-buried into the light can be very difficult. We all carry things in our closet that we would love to just imagine never happened. Those things affect our thoughts and actions whether we consciously acknowledge them or not. Taking these things to Jesus in prayer can finally bring healing and freedom.
Isaiah 42:16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
Today I pray that we open our hearts to the healing light of Christ. That we allow Him to lead us in ways we had not planned or may not even understand. He longs to make our rough places smooth, and draw us closer to Him
God Bless you!