One-on-One With God Through Perpetual Adoration
From St. Joseph Catholic Church newsletter, Macon, GA
Michael Leach calls it a gift.
As the Perpetual Adoration Coordinator at St. Joseph, Michael knows first-hand how much of a blessing it is to spend time with Christ in adoration. He has been committed to attending Adoration each week for the last two years and, along with four other coordinators, Michael is responsible for ensuring that the Adoration Chapel is never empty.
“It’s one of the most wonderful gifts that’s available to the parishioners,” Michael says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for prayer, for reflection, for quiet time. What better way to give glory to God than to spend time in the Adoration Chapel?”
Adoration is the practice of coming into God’s presence in the form of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is displayed in a chapel or a church for people to come before God in prayer and contemplation. Perpetual Adoration is when parishioners commit to spending time in adoration each week, usually an hour at a time, so that there is always someone present in adoration.
Maintaining Perpetual Adoration requires many people committed to devoting their time to fill each hour of the day and throughout the night. These individuals not only give their time to adoration when it is convenient, but often at times when it is decidedly inconvenient, such as 3 a.m. Monday morning when they could be sleeping or 10 p.m. Friday night when they could be socializing.
Why do these people sacrifice their time and comfort in this way? Many will say it is because of the benefits that result from this form of prayer. Adoration has many positive effects, both for the individual adorer and those with whom he interacts. In fact, Michael sees it as more of a blessing than a sacrifice.
“If you go and spend that time with Jesus,” he says, “you will receive an infinite amount of rewards. If you will make time to give Jesus that hour, you will get it back.”
Michael’s weekly commitment to adoration has affected not only his prayer life, but also has permeated into other aspects of his life. He says that adoration has fostered a closer relationship with his wife and enhanced his family life. These effects might not be surprising when considering Michael’s personal experience of the power of adoration. Michael and his wife struggled with infertility for three years, so they grew accustomed to God telling them no. His wife decided to say a personal novena in weekly adoration. One month after those nine days of prayer, Michael and his wife learned she was pregnant. He attributes this miracle to the power of God’s grace through adoration.
In his own spiritual journey, Michael has learned the true importance of spending time in God’s presence. He admits that his early approach to adoration was somewhat rigid. He divided his hour of adoration into a schedule consisting of praying the Rosary, reading the Bible and quiet prayer. While these are all good things in themselves, he has learned the value of not placing God in a schedule.
“I slow down, allow my heart to open, and instead of talking to God, let God talk to me,” Michael says.