I participated in a three-day parish retreat several years ago at St. William Catholic Church in Shelby, MT conducted by Father Armand Nigro, S.J. For a number of years Father
Nigro has been giving retreats throughout the United States for priests, religious and lay people.
During the three-day retreat, our parish priest and Father Nigro were
available for individual confessions one hour before the evening sessions began. During this hour, they also had Benediction, Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
I was silently kneeling praising and adoring Jesus during Adoration and asking Him to help me examine my conscience so I could make a good confession. An inner voice, which I’ve come to recognize as Jesus’ voice spoke in my heart, “I can
see straight into the depths of your soul. Do you want me to show you your sins”? I responded with a silent yes.
In the past I attempted to the best of my ability
to examine my conscience before going to confession, but I’ve never seen my sins with such clarity and simplicity as I did during this time of Adoration.
As I stood
in line waiting to go into the confessional, a burning desire came over me to pour out my sins to the priest. When I went into the confessional, I was weeping as I poured out each of my sins to the priest. It was so cleansing. Afterwards I felt not only clean,
but a heavy burden had been lifted from me.
During this quiet time after confession before the Blessed Sacrament, I asked Jesus to give me a plan of action, so I could
avoid falling into sin again. What came to me with such clarity and grace were the following, “Spend time in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, participate in daily Mass often to receive the Bread of Life and meditate on Scripture daily.
This graced filled experience convinced me more than ever of the importance of spending time before the Blessed Sacrament. There is such blessed power and unconditional love poured
out from Jesus, as you adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
Sadly, some Catholics because they have been misinformed, say that Exposition and Adoration have no place in
the modern Church today and is pre-Vatican II. But they do not know or have forgotten the deep love and power coming forth from Jesus, as you simply adore Him. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords wants you to spend time
with Him so He can pour out His love to you.
It is very much a part of Vatican II and our beloved late Pope John Paul II continues to encourage us in his writings to spend
time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pope John Paul II states in one of his writings, “The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not
refuse this time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.” (Dominicae cenae-3)
When we celebrate Mass, we are contemplatives in action, but when we adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament, we are contemplatives resting at the feet of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As Catholics we need both to grow closer to Jesus
and His Church.
We serve an awesome God and all He wants is for us to take the time to bow down before Him and adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament. This holy time of contemplation
before Our Eucharistic Lord refreshes and nourishes are tired spirits so that we can go forward to live our lives with inner peace, joy and strength regardless of the problems and challenges we encounter each day.
This precious time before the Lord is not wasted time, but the best time spent this side of Heaven. (Article reprinted from the Nov/Dec 2004 Family Digest Magazine.)