Here’s my talk on Adoration from the Hoosier Awakening Retreat this past spring:
Hi guys! My name is Maclaine Capshew and right now I’d like to share a little bit about one of my best pals: Jesus. If you don’t know Him very well, there’s no need to worry because He’s very personable and is always available to get to know you better. I don’t mean to be particular, but my favorite place with Him is being in Eucharistic Adoration. We get to sit together and chill out away from the stress and anxiety of everything. The great thing is that this hangout exists no matter my situation. If I’m being completely honest, I feel the absolute closest to Him when sitting in front of Him looking at the golden glow of the monstrance. This feeling of closeness is one I experience with most of my friends, but is not always a guarantee. Since humans fall short and our friends are humans, we can sometimes feel they fall short and maybe even feel alone while with them. Like any sophomore girl who grew up in Nebraska, I look to my tween role models for assistance in most spiritual matters. To quote the world-renowned socialite and inspiration, Avril Lavigne, “Isn’t anyone trying to find me? Won’t somebody come take me home?” Although middle school days are over, Avril here is touching on a feeling we’ve all experienced at one point in our life. We look to belong to something or to someone, and rarely feel satisfied. The friendship I was talking about before, the one with Christ, is the only thing that could possibly fulfill this need we all have for finding a home. What Ms. Lavigne doesn’t realize is that Christ has found us and that He is waiting patiently in His home for us to come join Him. He is a constant that we continue to move closer to and farther away from.
Somehow, whenever I am adoring Christ, I feel at home and feel I have a purpose. Most times I attend adoration, I write a letter to God. September 16th I was sitting in the chapel with my good friends and wanted to tell God what I saw. Despite my fear of sharing something incredibly personal, I am going to read this letter aloud that is addressed to God.
“You are so beautiful tonight, Lord. You make me so happy and carefree. Thank you for the majesty you present and the grace you bestow. I can feel and sense Your goodness, oh Lord. Your mercies are new every morning. I think in this moment I’m realizing that though I come to You to receive a constant – a constant grace, a familiar feeling, a Lord that I know, You are ever changing still. Every time I come to adore You, I discover a new part of who You are. Every time You surprise me and steal back a piece of my heart. It’s not that You change every time I come to You, but rather that every time I come to You, you change me and make me better. Thank You for being the one thing I can solely rely on. Please bless my family and friends and help them to always know Your constancy.”
For me, Christ is an “always”. He is always gentle, just, and kind. He is always listening to our hearts and always healing our wounds. He is always present. Losing sight of His constancy is easy and leads us to doubt. Luckily, God is so generous and merciful that He sent His son to save us and give us a shot at the good life. Christ’s real presence is in the Eucharist which He gave up for us and we have the great privilege of adoring Him so intimately. Notice how Christ never turns away from us. In the monstrance, He is unfaltering in His direction toward us. Rather, we are the ones that turn away and become distracted. He is here for us in any situation: good or bad. I was with Christ after feeling empty when a tragedy struck someone very close to me. I’ve attended adoration in Poland with the Pope, though I lost my WYD group many times in the 2 million other pilgrims. I adored Christ with my best friend at St. Charles on 3rd St. after St. Therese gave him a red rose. I went to adoration at St. Paul’s though I felt lost looking for answers about my Grandma’s health. And I looked up in a chapel at the Farm only to find the monstrance surrounded by bouquets of roses on the ninth day of my novena to St. Therese. Through these experiences I’ve noticed a pattern: when in need, I go to adore. Being at IU, most students enjoy visiting home during the school year saying, “I just need a break. I need to get away from everything and see my family.”. This is how I feel about Adoration. You pack up the muddled pieces of your life, get on your way, and bring them home – to Christ. In adoration, you are yourself. You are fully you because you are with the one person who knows everything about you. Since Christ never hides himself from us in the monstrance, why should we hide ourselves from the most accepting person to ever walk the earth?
In Luke 15, Jesus tells the parable of the lost son whose loving father welcomes him home even though the son left and made mistakes while away. His father was unfaltering in his love for his son and waited home for the moment he came back. Adoration is where we come when we are lost because God finds us here and rejoices by giving us His son on the altar. It is said that you are most like the five people you spend the most time around, so choose wisely. When we spend more time with Christ, we become Christ-like. In the words of Grace Padget herself, “the less of ourselves we have, the more room we have in us for Him.”