Since 2006, I have been blessed to live and work in locations where I have never been more than 100 yards from Jesus present in the tabernacle. In several places, I have not even needed to leave the building to gain access to the tabernacle. This thought came to me as I was watching Episode 3 of Presence on FORMED. A few of the speakers spoke about how, when faced with some challenge or question, they would go to the nearby adoration chapel or church to make a visit to Jesus in the Eucharist, speaking to Him and begging for His guidance. Hearing that reminds me of how privileged I have been to do likewise on so many occasions over the past nearly 17 years. But I am also aware of how many missed opportunities there have been, how I have taken for granted how close and available Jesus was to me, and yet I just went about my day without stopping in from time to time to visit Him, if for no other reason than to just tell Him that I love Him and to thank Him for His love for me.
During this time of Eucharistic Revival taking place throughout our country and in our diocese, there are many things that we can do to deepen our love for this gift of the Eucharist which the Church rightly calls the “source and summit” of our lives as Catholics. I would like to suggest that one such practice is making regular visits to Jesus in the Eucharist. That can be in an adoration chapel, like we have here in town at Blessed Sacrament Church. If you ever find yourself at one of our two hospitals in town, both have a chapel that is accessible to visitors and where Jesus is present in the tabernacle. Of course, most of our churches are open during the day for people to stop in and make a visit to Our Lord. Here at the Cathedral, our doors are unlocked one hour before the morning Mass through shortly after the conclusion of the final Mass of the day.
While making your visit, you can talk to Him about anything! Share the joys and struggles of the day with Him. Ask for guidance to the questions that you have. Give thanks to Him for His goodness and the blessings He has shared with you that day, blessings both known and unknown. As I wrote above, you can just tell Him that you love Him and thank Him for His love for you. And I highly encourage you to conclude your visit by making an act of spiritual communion. Here are the words I use, but you are free to use whatever works:
I wish, my Lord, to receive you with the purity, humility, and devotion with which your most holy Mother received you, with the spirit and fervor of the saints.
Since you have seemed to enjoy receiving Lenten challenges from me in the past, perhaps for the second half of Lent, I issue the challenge to make a visit to Jesus at least a couple of times a we, outside of your normal coming to the church for Mass. If you can do every day, great! But even if you do just once a couple of times a week, it will be more than you were likely doing, and I have great confidence that this practice will very much help strengthen your love for the Eucharist. St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote that the time spent in visiting the Blessed Sacrament “will be the most profitable to you in this life, and the source of your greatest consolation in death and in eternity.”
As a reminder, we have a weekly reflection question to keep in mind as you watch the next episode of Presence. It can be found on the bottom right corner of this page.