I can recall many occasions when it was very easy for me to stay up late. Feeling tired or sleepy while at the very same time easily keeping myself awake. Occasions when time slept away from me while talking to a friend for hours, as it seemed there was always something new to say. Why is it when I am at the chapel it’s so difficult to stay concentrated in prayer, silence and adoration and especially difficult to stay awake.
Well, as I write this I am in front of the greatest mystery, Christ present in the Eucharist and yet I can scarcely keep my eyes open. My mind seems to be so busy that I could run miles in it without rejecting one thought. What stops my wandering mind is when I see my sweet Christ waiting for me, ready to talk, to have a conversation and yet I can’t meet him. Then I hear it, that still small voice that says to me, “Weak little girl, rise up!”
The realization that any time I enter the chapel I am entering Christ’s heart grips my attention. Allowing him to wake me up from the busyness of my days, the restlessness due to my lack of true faith. A faith that should be more than lip service. He is calling me, as he once called a twelve-year-old girl, saying, “Talitha koum!” (Mark 5:41) It certainly feels at this exact moment that my soul is rising to the heart of my sweet Jesus.
I was not failing him when I was battling to stay awake, but failing myself of encountering my redeemer and my best friend. Today for a very long time I can sit in front of Christ present in the Eucharist and feel his heart beat. He is waiting to listen, to talk and just gaze upon me and allow me to return his gaze in awe. I notice a physical change in my demeaner, I feel alive! Not only awake, but alive.
While looking at Christ present in the Eucharist an image of heaven comes to mind. It’s as if the Eucharist is a clear window and my limited vision can only see one side, the Host. However, on the other side there is Heaven! The angels and saints are gathered in front as if peeking through the window and sharing this moment of petition, prayer, adoration and communication with Christ. Mother Mary is in front opening the way so our prayer can go directly to her son’s heart.
The evil one doesn’t want us to stay awake during Eucharistic adoration, because we won’t be able to open this mysterious window and our prayer will not only be stopped, it will be useless. In Christ’s mercy and grace not only did he wait for me today, he brought me back to life. I was spiritually dead, and he breathed his life into my soul! A desire stirs in me to come back again to be present and meet with Christ and those in heaven…” Talitha koum” …
While my intention was to pray for Pope Francis and vocations, it’s as if Christ received my prayers through my heart and not my words. Seeing clearly, all those times my heart felt heavy, my eyes closed and my prayers discontinued, somehow my soul found the strength to stay ‘awake and pray.’ A small battle has been won today, not by me but Christ present in the Eucharist. Christ knows my weaknesses and limitations but he chose not to speak of them, he did not list them, he is here and only wants to sit with me. He reserved this hour for me and not the other way around.
About the author:
Written by Paola Lecanda, who is a member of Regnum Christi since 2004. She is employed as a Registered Early Childhood Educator. Originally born and raised in Chile, Paola now lives in Milton, Ontario with her husband and 3 beautiful children.