Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

A number of years ago I had an amazing experience in adoration. I had suffered for years with chronic and often debilitating pain. The pain caused me to isolate myself because after fighting the pain, I had so little energy to interact with or serve others. After a period of reflection and prayer I decided that I would try to fight through the pain to serve others anyway. I had no idea how I could accomplish this ideal, but I purposed to do so.

An opportunity came shortly thereafter when my wife was attending a retreat at a nearby parish. I decided to go and spend an hour praying for them and for the Spirit of God to meet each of the women in a special way. After a long sleepless night, it took everything I had to get out of my home and into the car. I arrived at the Church and slowly made my way out of the car and into the sanctuary.

Every movement was resisted by the inflamed nerves in my body as I slouched onto the hard cold chair. Doubled over before the blessed sacrament I was barely able to sit let alone pray. If the Church wasn’t so cold I would have been tempted to slide off onto the floor. Even so, I began to beseech our Lord on their behalf.

The first victory was simply the ability to pray at all. My mind wandered to my senses in complaint and then to prayer and back. I didn’t think I could make it another few minutes let alone an hour. I stayed engaged anyway. Unexpectedly, after about ten minutes I slowly began to be able to straighten up in the chair.  I found myself able to focus beyond the pain. As the tension of anguished muscles began to lift, my body relaxed so that I could sit up and pray. With the pain slipping out of consciousness I prayed in painless peace. Not only was I able to sit up but I was strong and rested. I prayed for the remainder of the hour and beyond almost effortlessly.

No doubt a miracle. I have never forgotten that transcendent transition from the inward isolation of self-battling affliction to the complete absorption, ease, and selflessness in worship and prayer.

Beyond this event, I have regularly been surprised at what happens to me in adoration. It seems that distractions fade, discomfort disappears, and hours pass.

Have you encountered the Lord in a special way in adoration?

If this post has prompted you to want to dig deeper in your faith, don’t fail to explore the life-changing offerings of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation.

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