With every new year comes the determination to improve ourselves. We want to be fit physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. Hope springs eternal as they say, but if we are honest with ourselves we have to ask, “I am the same me in January that I was in December, what will be different by just turning the calendar page?” This honesty has inspired me over the last few years to just not bother with resolutions. Progress is necessary for our sanctification though, so this is not healthy either.
St. Catherine of Siena teaches that to progress we have to know ourselves. And thanks to a request from my mother, I have discovered the sure-fire way to not only know myself but to progress in all areas of my life. My mom is getting to the point she no longer wants to drive. She asked me to take her on her regular Wednesday errands and one of them is her hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the St. Gregory Catholic Church Adoration Chapel.
I decided during this hour to take advantage of a technique I heard once by a priest. He said when we visit the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration we should humbly present ourselves to Him. He recommended no prayer books, spiritual reading or devotions. The way he said it was, “I sit before Jesus and I simply look at Him as He looks at me.”
The fruit of my visits with Jesus have been nothing less than astounding! All my long-held desires to improve have shown positive results:
- My stress level is lower and I enjoy much calmer and peaceful days.
- My distorted passions for food and drink have tempered.
- My tendency to extremes (i.e. too much exercise or none at all) have moderated.
- Priorities have been put in proper order and projects completed within deadline.
- My life-long issue with arriving late is being remedied.
- I am enjoying increased understanding and clarity in what I read.
- I experience more confidence in my relations with others and in my abilities.
So how does this act of Adoration help me to grow in self- knowledge and make improvements in my life?
I am sure there is some deep theological explanation for these profound consequences, but the best way I can explain what happens is that the One who created me, explains me to me and I grow in self-knowledge.
Progress happens because in offering my presence to Him, I am giving Jesus what He thirsts for . . . . me, and because He cannot be outdone in generosity, He returns my small act of self-giving by fixing all that in me needs fixing.
If would like to take advantage of this guaranteed way to a better you but do not know where an Adoration Chapel is, then visit the website: therealpresence.org for a listing of churches and chapels that have Eucharistic Adoration.