Thank God for Catholics on campus – if it wasn’t for the Catholic chaplain and other Catholics at my university, I would feel sore alone sometimes.
Usually, in between classes, I pay a visit to the library and then hop on over to the local students’ pub on campus, where a pint of good local lager is on for a good price. Little did I know that Adoration also was happening on Mondays, and this time, I decided to pay a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. These thoughts occurred to me:
- It is mind-blowing to even conceive of almighty God humbling Himself in this way – here He is, Christ Himself. Here He is, the savior of the world, surrounded by a couple of students who gaze upon Him in silence. Outside, a groundskeeper blows leaves about, racing by in a cart without so much as a glance. Other students walk by – no one looks in. Jesus is there for them too.
- Paradoxically, it’s funny how much more aware of the presence of God in nature I am as opposed to when He is literally right in front of me in the Blessed Sacrament (and before you think I am a pantheist, let me explain what I mean). I think this is because God speaks so loudly, almost deafeningly sweetly, through His creation that surrounds us. To me, the wind in the trees is the handwriting of God. And yet, in the Blessed Sacrament, God speaks through silence, which, according to St. John of the Cross, is His first language. One can feel the depths of their soul penetrated when in Adoration – there is something much more intimate about God’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament than in nature; He is literally looking at you and you at Him, not simply surrounding you as He does in nature, say. God is everywhere, closer to us than fish to water according to St. Catherine of Siena, and yet I am at such a loss of words when I am kneeling before Christ Himself present in the Blessed Sacrament. What can I possibly say? What can I possibly do? Here He is, here am I – maybe in this simple setting, in simple silence, we can finally speak to each other, rather than me simply listening to Him in nature. I just don’t know.
- I am at a loss for words when I am in Adoration. I am usually overcome by feelings of tremendous unworthiness. I think to myself about how the great saints could spend hours before the Blessed Sacrament, and here I am only spending twenty minutes or so. I always wonder with what kind of gaze God looks upon me.
- Finally, as I leave and my good friend steps inside to spend time with God and watch over the Sacrament, I think about the other Christians on campus. I want to just rush out and ask them, “Are you looking for Jesus? He is here!”. I want to tell them that He waits for them there, they can go, see, and spill their hearts to Him. The one who is the savior of the world is waiting for you – why do you not go? What keeps you? Is it the same things that keep me sometimes? And if you do not believe He is there, then how can I help your unbelief?” And then I am left thinking, “God help me in my own!”
It’s naive and silly, I suppose, but sometimes when one has such experiences, they fall into a state of foolishness, thinking that the world will listen, or that the world cares. I am not sure what to say about it all really.
But there I was, kneeling before Christ Himself, and all I could say was “Lord, help me.”
With thanks to Ascent of Carmel Blog