Boredom and Distraction: Gateways to Peace
Does it seem scandalous to admit this-that you could find spending time with God to be less than enthralling? Yet so it is. Boredom can often be a real stumbling block in attending Eucharistic Adoration. But have you ever asked yourself why silence, why not having something to do, why just being 'with yourself' is so uncomfortable?
God not only speaks to us in beautiful thoughts and poetic prayers but also in our discomfort and…even in our distractions. Let Him speak to you by asking yourself these questions. By asking Him to reveal His truth to you.
There is a big difference between questioning God and asking questions of God. This difference is illustrated veryclearly when we compare Zachariah, the father of John theBaptist, with Mary. Both Zachariah and Mary were in shock when the angel Gabriel told them that miraculous births would take place yet Zachariah was struck dumb andMary was blessed among woman, why? Zachariah’s questioning, “How shall I know this?” (Luke 1:18) camefrom a place of disbelief, his posture was one of skepticism. Mary’s questioning, “How can this be?” (Luke1:34) arose from faith seeking understanding. Mary approached God in a posture of humility and genuine inquiry. Whenever we approach, God and questions arise inour hearts we need not be anxious or fear that these questions show a lack of faith. On the contrary, we canmanifest our trust in God by humbly waiting for Him tospeak and to respond to the deepest questions of our hearts. May we approach Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with the faith of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Why is Silence so uncomfortable? We have gone to greatpains in our modern world to replace silence with background noise; whether it be in the car, at the gym, oreven while standing in an elevator. Yet what makes silenceso difficult for us? In the silence, we are alone with ourselves and our thoughts. In our thoughts God speaks. Perhaps we fear to think about our unanswered questions, our unfulfilled desires, and our un-calmed fears. Yet, God’sprimary language is silence precisely because He uses suchquestions to draw us to Himself. In Eucharistic Adorationwe can come before God with our questions, our desires,and our fears and have no doubt that He will indeed speakto us. Reality is not always pleasant to look upon yet whenwe approach Jesus in the silence of prayer we are practicing the virtue of fortitude. If we come before Him toreceive His words of truth, He will set us free from all fearand anxiety.
Why do we go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to pray? We worship and adore Him because in justice, this is God’s due. The angels in Heaven are in constant adorationof God. To look upon Him face to face is a great privilegeand joy. On earth to look upon the face of those whom welove and to be with them is among our greatest joys—howmuch more so when that ‘loved one’ is the God who knowsand loves us completely. God deserves to be adored because He is God, because He is good, and because He isbeautiful. In adoration we come face to face with who Godis and who we are. In the light of that truth we find peace and happiness.
In prayer we allow Jesus to love us. Our desire to love Jesus is in direct proportion to our recognition of His great personal love for us. This is why looking at God’s action in our lives, both in the past and presently, is so important. If God continually reminded the Israelites of old to remember His works, it was to fortify them in the truth that He loved them and would always provide for their needs. When we look at our own lives we too can see how time and again God has provided for us superabundantly. The more we recognize how much God has loved us, protected us, and guided us, the more we will grow in our love for Him since gratitude is the beginning of love. May we continually go to prayer to receive love so as to make a return of love.
St. John Paul II recognized His great need for God andso made a holy hour every morning from 5am-6am.During that time He could be heard audibly‘groaning’. He knew well what St. Paul taught in hisletter to the Romans, “We do not know how to pray as we ought but the Spirit intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26). Sometimes we are confused, conflicted, sometimes we simply cannotfind the words to express our great need for God. Inthese times we must rely upon the Holy Spirit to formulate the prayer within us, for us. A child doesnot know how to express itself perfectly but whenthey present themselves to a loving parent and signaltheir need for help, aid is offered. The same is truewith God. We may not know how to pray but we canplace our self in God’s presence and He will pray forus by praying in us.
Intercessory prayer consists of someone praying on behalf of another. We can ask others to pray for us when we need a job, whentragedy strikes, or even when we need a little bitof encouragement. We can and ought to go directly to God but there is also great power in numbers. Jesus said to His disciples, “Wheretwo or more are gathered in my name, there amI in their midst” (Matthew 18:20). We can approach Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration withour own needs but He has also entrusted certainpeople to our care; some for a time or a momentand others forever. We can intercede before thethrone of God for those whom we love andcommend them to the mercy of God. The heartof Christ is greatly moved by such prayers.
The apostles were fascinated by Jesus. They were often perplexed by His parables, stunnedby His wisdom and in awe of His power to heal. Yet perhaps the most touching appeal thedisciples ever made to Jesus was when they asked Him how to pray. The Gospel recordsthat, “He was praying in a certain place, and when He had finished, one of His disciplessaid to Him, Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Jesus was perfectly one with the Father.He was able to be present to all those whom He ministered to because of His union withthe Father in prayer. In Eucharistic Adoration we too can pray as Jesus did, in silence andsolitude. We can present our needs before Him, as outlined in the Our Father, drawingstrength to fulfill our mission to love and to be a saint in the Church. Jesus’ beauty shinesforth in the Eucharist but it also shines forth in those who approach Adoration and seek tobe transformed into His apostles of love.
The book of Genesis describes how God worked for six days, creating the heavens and the earth and how on the seventhday He rested. Likewise, Jesus spent His days ministering to the crowds, feeding the hungry, and healing the sick, yetHe drew His strength by frequently taking time to be alone with His Father in prayer. Jesus teaches us that in order to befruitful in ministry, in order to “be” for others we must first receive love and strength from God our Father in prayer. InEucharistic Adoration we too can take time to be alone with God—to allow Him to fill us with His strength and Hislove. The love we give to others is only what we have first received from God. In Adoration we receive the grace necessary to be faithful and fruitful for the Kingdom of God.