by Marian Visintainer
Have you ever felt confused? Like you didn’t know what to do with your life? Of course you have; you’re a college student. It’s practically a requirement. Luckily for you, your best friend just happens to be the King of the universe, and He already has a perfect plan for your life! However, the process of discerning His plan for you is often fraught with worry and uncertainty. But here’s the secret: it doesn’t have to be. As a matter of fact, it shouldn’t be! Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28). Jesus wants you to give Him all your worries and burdens, and coming to Him in Adoration is one of the best ways to gain His peace.
First, what exactly is Eucharistic Adoration? Well, you all know what the Eucharist is, right? During the consecration at Mass the bread and wine are actually (not just spiritually) transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. I wish I could take the time to explain just how awesome and glorious the Mass truly is, and how it is the greatest gift that Jesus left for us. I will just say that experiencing the sacrifice of the Mass and the mystery of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is more than extraordinary. Eucharistic Adoration is an extension of the Mass, which means it is just as extraordinary. It provides us with the opportunity to spend quality time with Jesus and to pray before His True Presence outside of Mass.
I can promise you that by attending Adoration regularly and laying all your worries down, you will gain a wonderful sense of peace. This doesn’t mean that all our problems go away, or that all your decisions will suddenly become perfectly clear. The only way to grow in holiness and maturity is to go through difficult times. But through Eucharistic Adoration, you have an opportunity to unburden yourself to Him. Before the Blessed Sacrament you can lay all your worries at the feet of Jesus. And not just the bad things, tell Him the good things too! He’s your best friend and He wants to know everything that makes you happy, sad, anxious, excited, or thankful. And trust me, after you’ve spent an hour in silent conversation with Him, you will be more at peace than you ever have been before, even if God still hasn’t revealed His plan for your life.
Of course, as college students you are very busy and may not be able to spend an hour with Jesus. Whenever you think that you don’t have time for Jesus, just remember what He said in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Can you not watch one hour with Me?” If there is one thing I have learned in my spiritual growth, it’s that time spent in prayer is never wasted. We grow in love for Jesus whenever we spend time with Him. I have never regretted losing sleep to pray a rosary or spending that extra 20 seconds to say an Our Father during a test. It actually helps me do better than I would have otherwise. If you can’t make it to the parish holy hour on Wednesdays at 5:00pm, then you can go to the adoration chapel at St. Luke’s on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays (see times at the bottom of the Newsletter or at ungcatholic.org, stlukercc.org, or on the sign outside the church itself). You can even go at 2:00 or 3:00am on Saturdays if you want to!
Below, I have included some tips on what to do during Adoration.
Remember that this is a time to sit silently with Jesus. Always remain reverent – genuflect before entering or leaving a pew, always orient yourself towards the Monstrance (the vessel holding the Eucharist), don’t talk with other people, put your phone on silent, don’t look around to see who else is there, and dress appropriately. You are in the presence of God: please act like it (These same rules apply for going to Mass).
Some things I try to always bring with me when I go to Adoration are a rosary, a bible, spiritual reading, and a prayer journal. If you want suggestions on spiritual readings I know Fr. Neil or Dr. Paul would be more than happy to advise you.
If you have trouble focusing, try sitting at the front of the church to avoid distraction or praying a rosary to quiet the noise in your head. One thing I find that helps is to offer each Hail Mary for a member of my family. I have a rather large family though, so you may need to include your friends or start praying for specific virtues to get all the way through.
If you’ve already prayed a rosary or if you don’t have much time, then you can repeat a small prayer a few times while really focusing on the words. These two are a good place to start:
“We adore you, O Lord Jesus Christ, in this church and all the churches of the world, and we bless you, because, by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”
“Lord, take me from myself and give me to yourself.” – St. Catherine of Sienna
The best thing to remember is that talking to Jesus is just like talking to your friend. It’s okay if your prayers aren’t perfect; just don’t be afraid to have a real conversation with Him. He wants you to laugh with Him, cry with Him, or just sit together with Him in silence. But always remember to listen to what He has to say – too often I find that I am the one doing all the talking.
If you want to learn more about Eucharistic Adoration, here are a couple of good websites. I highly encourage you to visit at least one of them (I like the 2nd one best):
1.) Some FAQs about Adoration; good if you only have a few minutes to spend.
2.) A fuller explanation of Adoration with scriptural references and emotional encouragement.
3.) Everything you could ever possibly want to know about Eucharistic Adoration.
All praise and honor be to Jesus Christ, forever and ever! Amen.