I head into our Church, genuflect, and then walk towards the sacristy. I grab the key for the Tabernacle and head into the main part of the Church. I go up, past the altar, and then next to the Tabernacle. I light the candles. Next I expose our Lord, kneel prostrate on the floor, then I head to my pew. It’s 6:40 in the morning and it’s just He and I. It’s wonderful, simply wonderful. I kneel down and just look at Him. It’s good to see Him, even if I’m not in the best of moods in the morning; it’s still good to see Him. His presence brings me a bit of consolation, a gentle relief.
I sit back and just rest. I rest in His presence. Oh, what a peaceful presence it so often is for me . . . I sit and I look at Him. There are days that I feel His grace tangibly in me and these moments become one of intimacy, peace, and consolation. I’ll hear His voice in the movements of my heart and experience His personal conformation of my heart to His. There are also many days that this tangibly felt grace is absent: the felt consolation of His presence is not there; the Eucharist only seems to be a piece of bread; the only peace I feel is the more natural (although still being of aid spiritually) peace of simply sitting down in a quiet place, alone.
I sit and I rest. It’s a time to rest, to receive, to simply “be.” More than that, it’s a time to be with Him. I open my heart to Him and hope He’ll come in. I soak up the peace like a dry sponge. This time is so precious to me.
But then there’s always the distractions. I feel compulsions, driven by my own desires, “I should really read this material now, it compliments what I’ve been thinking about lately.” “I have a lot of planning to do for all the work I’m hoping to accomplish this afternoon. I’ve got to quickly write down all the particulars, NOW, before I forget!” One would think that the predictability of this happening, along with the urgency, the noise, and the obtrusiveness with which these thoughts come into my mind would’ve taught me by now to just let them rattle on. Sometimes I do. Often I don’t. Either way, after the intrusion I try to be at rest again.
As time passes—so often too quickly—the others begin to make their way into the Church. One by one I hear the doors open, then footsteps. I hear the unique pace of each. I hear the movement of their habit and the gentle rustling of their Rosaries. Finally I hear the ‘thud’ that some members make as they enter the sanctuary and kneel, then bow prostrate before our Lord.
I look at my watch and see that it’s 6:59. Just in time for me to get up and head to the back of the Church, then to the foyer. The clock turns to 7:00 and I toll the bell. It’s the beginning of our day as a community together. The beginning of our communal adoring of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The beginning of a day well spent with the best of company, that is, with the One who is always hoping for a visit: Jesus.
By Br. James of the Holy Spirit, OSIHJM