A Miracle in Adoration
A number of years ago I had an extraordinary experience in adoration. I had suffered for years with chronic and often debilitating pain. The pain caused me to isolate myself because after fighting the pain, I had so little energy to interact with or serve others. After the prompting of the Holy Spirit and a period of reflection and prayer, I decided that I would try to fight through the pain to serve others anyway. I had no idea how I could accomplish this goal, but I purposed to do so.
An opportunity came shortly thereafter when my wife was attending a retreat at a nearby parish. I made the decision to try to go and spend an hour praying for them for the Spirit of God to meet each of these women in a special way. After a long sleepless night, it took everything I had to get out of my home and into the car. I arrived at the Church and slowly crawled out of the car and then walked slowly into the sanctuary.
Every movement was resisted by the inflamed nerves in my body as I slouched onto the hard cold chair. Doubled over before the Blessed Sacrament I was barely able to sit let alone pray. If the Church wasn’t so cold I would have been tempted to slide off the chair onto the floor. Even so, I began to beseech our Lord on their behalf.
The first victory was simply the ability to pray at all. My mind wandered to my senses in complaint and then to prayer and back. I didn’t think I could make it another few minutes let alone an hour. I stayed engaged anyway.
Unexpectedly, after about ten minutes I slowly gained the ability to straighten up in the chair. This ability wasn’t rooted in my effort. Then I found myself able to focus beyond the pain. As the tension of anguished muscles began to lift, my body relaxed so that I could sit up and pray in comfort. With the physical torment fading, I slipped into a prayer of painless peace. Not only was I able to sit up but I felt strong and rested. I prayed for the remainder of the hour and beyond almost effortlessly.
No doubt a miracle. I have never forgotten that transcendent transition from the inward isolation and self-focused battle to the complete absorption, ease, and selflessness in worship and prayer.
Beyond this event, I have regularly been surprised at what happens to me in adoration. It seems that distractions fade, discomfort disappears, and hours pass.
Have you encountered the Lord in a special way in adoration?
Art for this post on A Miracle in Adoration: Virgin by the Host, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1852, PD-US published in the U.S. prior to January 1, 1923, Wikimedia Commons.