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I cannot believe that it took me nearly 35 years of my life to fall so deeply in love with the Blessed Sacrament.  I always knew that Christ was truly present in the Eucharist, but until a few years ago, I had no idea how peaceful and fulfilling it was to just spend time in front of Him.  We are blessed at our church to have an adoration chapel that is open 24 hours a day.  So any time that I desire, I can enter the chapel and visit with our Lord.

The very first time that I stepped foot in the chapel was actually during mass one Sunday morning.  My very strong-willed three year old was throwing a terrible fit in church.  So being a diligent parent, I removed her from the sanctuary so that she wouldn’t disturb others.  But she became even more belligerent in the gathering area outside of the sanctuary.  After trying to control her for a while, I finally was at my wit’s end and I knew that I either needed to swat this little one’s rear in front of the church goers and Christ himself or I needed to be on my knees in front of Him.  So I drug her to the side chapel and dropped to my knees, just staring at the monstrance.  I told our Lord that I didn’t know how to mother this child that he had given me, but that I needed his help to do it.  And as I knelt there, a peace came over me – definitely not from the little being next to me, because she was still mad – but emanating from the Blessed Sacrament.  And I knew that He would lead me in the parenting of one of his beloved daughters.  I left the chapel newly confident that I could do the right thing with his help and I suddenly found her sassing more amusing that exasperating, which made that little girl even sassier than before, but at least she could not phase me for the rest of that mass!

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One of the first few times that I went in after that predestined Sunday, I happened to be without children.  I stepped into the chapel and noticed that it was a bit crowded with teens from the youth group.  Now the chapel probably only holds about 30 chairs so even though only a dozen or so teens were there, I ended up near the very back of the chapel.  As I knelt there, just delighting in our Lord’s presence, I kept feeling that I wished I were closer.  I wanted to get closer to the monstrance which held our Lord.  And I realized that the desire for closeness was both a desire to be physically closer but also spiritually closer to the Lord.

As the children got a little older, I wanted to introduce them to our Lord through adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, so we attended a children’s adoration at least once a month.  They came to love going in to see Jesus and spend time kneeling in front of him.  So much did they all love it that sometimes we would just stop by after an errand at the church.  Maybe only five minutes, but enough to say, “Hi Jesus.  I love you.”  And I so wanted to share this feeling with my most beloved friends and their families, that the Holy Spirit graced me with the idea to start a preschool adoration for younger children.

I still love to slip into the chapel any chance I get, with or without children, but with a busy young family, activities and chores often keep me away, and our time is often limited to a few minutes of adoration here and there.  But someday in the distant future, when I can take an hour or more, I look forward to a time when I will be able to kneel and adore our Lord Jesus, just happy to be in His presence.

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