The Lord recently called me back to adoration. I know . . . I have three small children, no family nearby, and my current prayer life is sandwiched between dirty diapers and “Mommy, can you read me this book?” But . . . the Lord still called me to him. In fact, he called me and my youngest two children.
My oldest child is blessed to attend a school with a Perpetual Adoration Chapel. While I have tried to commit to a Holy Hour before, reality seemed to indicate that I should let it go at this season of life. First, the Holy Spirit prompted me through a friend. A mother of small children herself, she encouraged me to share an hour with her. In this way, we have an immediate backup for the days when the unexpected needs of children might keep us from the chapel. I still hesitated, but ultimately agreed due to her enthusiasm.
My first Holy Hour with an 8-month-old and three-year-old was eventful. Between trying to keep my children to a dull roar and agonizing over what others in the chapel might be thinking about me, I found myself wondering if this time was well-spent. I breathed a well-earned sigh of relief when we finished. However, as we walked to the car, my three-year-old turned to me and said, “Mommy, when we are going to visit Jesus again?” I knew I had to stick with it. Despite my self-consciousness and distractions, my children and I were soaking up something powerful in that hour, something that my life and so many others need right now—more of Jesus. A couple of weeks into my Holy Hour, I received another affirmation of my decision. My children and I arrived as usual and settled down into our prayer routine. About ten minutes into our hour of adoration, our parish priest arrived. At first, I thought he was merely stopping in for a visit. However, when he returned in vestments and headed to the front of the chapel, I realized he was saying Mass. Only myself, my children, and one other person were with our Lord. At a time when the Mass has been rediscovered as a cherished gift, I received an almost-private Mass! It was a beautiful gift, undimmed by the fact that my three-year-old had to leave for the bathroom in the middle of Mass, and my 8-month-old seemed hell-bent on being as loud as possible.
As I pondered these gifts of the Lord’s presence, I was reminded of the verse, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). The world today is a burden to many, and who carries burdens more than our mothers? Like the Lord’s mother, we often hold “all these things in our heart” (Lk 2:19). Let me encourage you from my own experience: the Lord is there waiting for you personally. He is ready and willing to carry all the burdens we face today, if only we will come to him.