A few months ago I attempted to add Adoration to my schedule as more than a once-in-a-while event. On my way home one afternoon I stopped at the chapel to pray for the 30 extra minutes I had. I felt that was a good start. Lingering after morning mass at times to join others in the Rosary was okay, but I felt I couldn’t really concentrate one-on-one with Jesus. I had so much to take up with him.
I tiptoed into the small chapel aglow with the light of the Holy Spirit. The Rosary reciters were long gone. The only other person there left ten minutes later. I sighed a deep breath of peace. With the Lord to myself, I prayed my intercessions aloud, surrendered my burdens and sat down to listen.
Nothing happened. I longed for the spiritual highs of Adoration during dozens of retreats and days of renewal. Clarity in big decisions. Major attitude adjustments. Tears of healing. Now I got nothing. The time ticked by until I had to leave, frustrated, disappointed and overdue for my next commitment. Boy, could I have used Vinny Flynn’s book that day!
Even though I used 5 of his 21 ways to worship (from his recent release, 21 Ways to Worship), they weren’t enough that day. I did know about “taking off my shoes,” or anything that prevents distractions, but I didn’t remember to do that. I knew how to “evict the tenants,” the world, the flesh and the devil, but wasn’t practiced in that.
I didn’t think of Adoration as “running to Daddy” or enlisting Mary’s help. Perhaps because I am a convert, I focused more on my relationship with Jesus as I gazed at the monstrance.
So I did okay with keeping it personal, reading my Magnificat, journaling, shutting up and listening. I even tried to bathe in the “Sonshine” Vinny writes about that penetrates and changes us like the sun’s tanning rays. The rays were elusive as if blocked by my trying too hard.
At other prayer times I often picture those people to intercede for or the hurts that need healing. I often sing and praise God. Didn’t use those. But I wasn’t snoring, as Vinny mentioned. (He gave us permission to fall asleep as long as we don’t disturb anyone.)
Vinny taught me about the Tabernacle Prayer where we ask the Lord to lock us in the tabernacle with him. He introduced the three R’s—Repent, Revoke, Replace—in dealing with negative thoughts and condemning words. He gave me new insights into getting out of my self-concern, unloading my mind, and seeking God’s agenda to pray for whatever and whomever he desires.
These approaches, like being greedy for grace, await my exploration as I give regular Adoration another go. Vinny says this practice will transform the world one adorer at a time.
Bring it on!
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Copyright 2013, Nancy Ward
About the Author
Nancy Ward authored Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: Tools, Tips, and Testimonies (and the DVD) and contributed to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion. She loves to share her conversion story and give evangelization workshops and retreats equipping others to share their faith. She facilitates the DFW Catholic Writers, Catholic Writers Guild Nonfiction Critique Group, serves on their Board, and speaks at writers’ conferences. Learn more at JoyAlive.net and NancyHCWard.com.