God has a way of getting our attention despite the many distractions that plague our lives.
In my case, it took a serious fall that crushed three disks in my neck, leaving me bedridden for six weeks with wracking pain. My right arm was partially paralyzed, my hand had not the strength to hold a glass of water.
And through that pain God spoke to me, clearly and distinctly, His message unmistakable: “I want an Adoration Chapel at St Angela Merici”. I replied, ‘God, how can I do that? I can’t even get out of bed!’
And God said ‘ I will heal you’. And He did. My strength in time returned, the pain lessened. That was the only time in my life that I have had such a direct message and unmistakable from God. But it was clear. I had to act.
Pastors must ask Bishop’s permission to establish an Adoration Chapel [Bishop Vann has given all pastors permission] in their parish. Our pastor had just arrived at St Angela’s , we didn’t know each other. Anticipating reluctance on his part, I tried to anticipate any misgivings he might have, then scheduled a meeting. Before the meeting, in our church, I prayed that our dear Lord would give me the words to persuade him and counter any possible objections he might have.
There was no difficulty listing potential problems. Our once-a-month day of Adoration at St Angela’s was struggling. In Adoration Jesus must never be left alone. How could I find enough people to ensure continuous adoration? And, where could we find space for an Adoration Chapel? On and on, more questions came, I had to have good answers. But as I prayed, my thoughts became more and more disjointed, the inspirations left me. My mind went blank. Just then the Pastor approached and asked why I wanted to see him. Through my anxiety and confusion I blurted out “ We should have an Adoration Chapel at St Angela’s” and he replied: “I agree”.
Just like that! “I agree” he said. All my carefully thought out responses to imagined objections weren’t needed. When God wants something to happen, it will happen. We are just the instruments of His will.
So, we converted our unused Parish library to an Adoration Chapel, formed an Adoration Committee and spoke to the many ministries at St Angela’s seeking committed adorers who would agree to spend an hour a week with our Lord in adoration. We started as a Blessed Sacrament Chapel, with the Tabernacle available to all who wanted to be with Jesus even though the main church was locked during the day. Parishioners were longing to spend time with our Lord. It took nearly a year to fill all the hours with committed adorers and thereby convince our Pastor that this was a serious and committed ministry.
Then, on July 6, 2010, the Blessed Sacrament was processed to our Adoration Chapel. Adoration there has been continuous since then, six days a week, 15 hours a day, with some 260 committed adorers and perhaps as many ‘drop ins’ who come in to spend a few minutes with our Lord. Each year we have perhaps 20,000 ( yes, some twenty thousand) visits to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in our Adoration Chapel.
God cannot be outdone in generosity. Give Him an hour of your precious time and He will shower you , your family, those your pray for, and your parish with boundless blessings.
How any times have I witnessed someone, a family, a mother with little children, obviously distraught, in tears, come to be with Jesus in our Chapel, watched them pray and then leave
comforted and strengthened to face whatever problems they are encountering.
How many letters have I received from adorers whose prayers have been answered……their unemployed husbands suddenly finding jobs, their children renouncing drug habits, marriages saved, vocations realized, illnesses healed.
The blessings to our parish and our parish families have continued and will continue. God hears our prayers, and they are answered. He waits for us in our Adoration Chapel, and is delighted when we take time from our busy lives to be with Him, tell Him how we love Him, and receive His peace, the peace that passes understanding.
Our God is a loving and faithful God.
May our dear Lord Jesus bless you each and every day of your lives.
St Angela Merici Parish Adoration Chapel Coordinator