Her eyes open before the alarm clock sounds. Green fluorescent numbers shout through the darkness of night that it is 4:30 a.m. Sounds of pelting rain on the roof fill the room. The house is cool but it is toasty under the warm weight of the covers. Saying a silent prayer to her guardian angel for help, the mother drags herself out of bed and dresses quickly.
After making a cup of hot tea, she throws on her coat, grabs her purse and prayer bag, and then hurries out the door. She does not want to miss her date with the Master.
It’s dark and misty and yet some birds have begun a slow gentle chirp as if knowing that daybreak is near. The GPS, left on in the car the night before, commands the mother to: “drive the highlighted route.” She shuts the GPS off. She knows this route well.
Driving on the shiny black streets, the car’s headlights stream through the dark mist of rain. Other lights shine down from street lamps above. Steam seems to be rising up off the pavement. Her cold hands grip a frozen steering wheel. Shivering, she tries to turn up the heat in the car, but only cool air comes out of the vents.
Stepping into the chapel she catches a glimpse of Jesus in the monstrance. He is the reason why she has come. He is rightly surrounded by gold and gems. The dependable red flame flickers steadily at His side. Jesus radiates peace and love and all that is true and good and holy and pure and righteous. She feels His warmth and basks in His embrace of love.
In the dimly lit chapel, she kneels down before her God. She recites her morning offering and offers a Spiritual Communion. She re-consecrates herself all over again to her Lord. Then she begins, one by one to intercede for her children. In a world gone wild, she knows it is only with His help that they will ever be raised right. On their behalf, she comes before her God as if a beggar before a King.
She reaches into her prayer bag for her green novena book. She gives the attached thin red ribbon a small tug and the book flips open to her latest novena. This is day 3 of a novena for her children to “Our Lady of Perpetual Help.” The mother calls upon Our Lady often.
She picks up her Bible and it opens to Ephesians 6. “Put on the armor of God,” it exhorts her, “so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.”
Taking out a pen, she places her prayer journal on her lap, and begins to write. There she thanks the Master. She has a small understanding of the sacrifice Christ made for her, and it weighs heavy on her heart. She has a glimmer of an understanding of the many times He has intervened in her life; the many times He has blessed her with His grace. She apologizes for the ways she has let Him down, and in her weakness sinned against Him. In her journal she abandons herself in honesty to Christ, holding nothing back. She writes of crosses which she thinks at times are too much to carry. “Carry them with me” He seems to whisper. It is there, before the Blessed Sacrament, that she most clearly hears the voice of God. It is there, before the Blessed Sacrament that she has so often been consoled, strengthened, exhorted, guided and at times disciplined. Her God is a loving Father.
And then for a while, she sits in silent stillness. She gazes at her Lord and her heart speaks a silent prayer of adoration. The Master responds in kind. She has come to love these quiet morning meetings with the Lord, and to love the silent stillness she has found in them — before the hustle and bustle of day rushes in.
Her moments before the Blessed Sacrament are not always like this morning. There are moments when, before Him, she grows agitated, unable to pray as a thousand things — phone calls, work, chores, errands, bills, and doctor appointments — fill her mind, cloud her vision and numb her prayers. When this happens she prays for the grace to pray well, but even on days when she cannot pray well, she stays with Him still. She does not want to abandon her Master.
But time passes all too quickly for the mother on this particular morning and she knows she must leave now to begin waking the children for their day. She hesitates to turn her back on Christ, and makes one final plea that He might stay with her family as the day unfolds.
As she exits the adoration chapel, the darkness of night has lifted, the rain stopped and a bright morning light broken through. The birds fill the air with sweet and hopeful songs. With a joyful glance, she lifts her head towards heaven. The dawn of a new day has given birth to yet another day to live with hope in, and with love for, her God.
She doesn’t know what challenges the day will bring — what obstacles, what joys, what successes, or what sorrow. But she knows this day will be better with Jesus at her side. The day will be brighter because she met God in the morning.
Information on Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration can be found at: http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/euchd3.htm.
“The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about everlasting peace on earth.” — Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta