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Danielle Bean is grateful to get more than she bargained for when she organizes Adoration at her parish.

“Come by the church this week, and I’ll show you how to set everything up.” 

Fr. Gerry smiled at me, but my mind was spinning. Set everything up? What was he talking about? 

When I asked for permission to expand our parish’s Eucharistic Adoration program and offered to organize it, I thought I might recruit volunteers, create a schedule, and write some emails. It turned out, though, that Fr. Gerry was not available on Tuesday mornings, and so if we were going to have weekly Adoration, it would be my responsibility to set up exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. 

Was that even legit? 

Fr. Gerry assured me that it was indeed legit. While the ordinary minister for exposition of the Eucharist is a priest or deacon, when necessary, a special minister of Communion, appointed by the pastor and approved by the Bishop, may publicly expose the Eucharist for the adoration of the faithful. 

So, ready or not, that would be me. Lighting the candles. Setting the monstrance on the altar.  Opening the tabernacle. Carrying the host. Placing it in the monstrance. Every Tuesday morning. 

On the first morning, I arrived at the church early, unlocked the doors, and stepped into the dark, quiet chapel. Consulting my notes and following Fr. Gerry’s instructions, I turned on the lights, lit the candles, pulled the heavy monstrance from a cabinet in the sacristy, and placed it in the center of the altar.

Now for the daunting part. I retrieved the key to the tabernacle and stood nervously before it. Do I genuflect before or after opening it? I could not remember. I did both, just to be safe, and then I stood before the open tabernacle, holding my breath.

There, in that small space in a corner of the dimly-lit church, was Jesus. What looked like a white wafer inside a small gold container was Jesus, truly present in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Jesus was right here, I realized with a gulp, waiting for me.

I felt my hands shake and my heart pound in my chest as I reached into the tabernacle to remove the Blessed Sacrament. Part of me shuddered at the audacity of a layperson just reaching into the tabernacle and pulling out the Eucharist, and yet I felt invited to do exactly that. Welcome, Jesus seemed to say to me, I’m glad you are here.

And then I carried Him. I cannot begin to grasp the enormity of a God who created the universe and hung the stars in the sky, and yet here He was, a small quiet miracle, in my trembling hands. I made the short walk to the altar, awestruck by the humility of a God Who comes into our hands and lets us hold Him. This is the unique gift of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. It’s ordinary and extraordinary; it’s transcendent, but also right here, right now.


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Jesus comes to us where we are. He comes into our lives and longs to be part of our everyday routines, work, conversations, and relationships. #catholicmom


I placed the host in the monstrance, knelt before the altar, and let the silence run over my ears like a balm. Years ago, when all of our kids were still small and most days were chaotic, I used to sit in the car in the driveway sometimes after I turned off the engine. I would just sit and savor the silence. This was a silence like that, a soothing gift, washing over me in the empty chapel.




Jesus comes to us where we are. He loves us so much that He enters into our humble surroundings. He comes into our lives and longs to be part of our everyday routines, work, conversations, and relationships. 

I’ve had a bit of practice now and have grown more comfortable in my Tuesday morning routine, but still, I am in awe. Each week, as I hold the Eucharist in my hands and walk to the altar, I give thanks to God for the privilege of carrying Him. And each week, after I have spent some time there in silence, I go back into the world knowing that God has given me grace. Grace to do all that He calls me to. Grace that carries me. 

This is my God, I think each week as I make my way from the tabernacle to the altar. I carry Him, and He carries me.

Copyright 2022 Danielle Bean
Images: copyright 2022 Danielle Bean, all rights reserved.