Whenever I am at a crossroads, I try to turn to Jesus. There is a certain peace that comes from visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament that I have experienced throughout my life. As a child, there was an occasional exposure through Exhibition of the Blessed Sacrament. It was an awe-filled experience.
When I worked for USC School of Medicine, we would travel to San Clemente, California for work every couple months. While there, I would visit Our Lady of Fatima Church which had perpetual adoration. I would try to go around 9:00 in the evening when I knew the chapel was likely to be vacant.
While there I would sit in the presence of Our Lord and bask in His love. In the silence I felt connected.
Normally I am a person who constantly enjoys listening to music and keeping my senses occupied. But this was a sacred time, and the silence made it more so.
I also used to attend St. Therese Chruch, of Alhambra, California. They also had perpetual adoration. When I would go, it would take me a good thirty minutes to calm my mind, and stop talking TO God. I had a lot to say to Him, and lots of jokes too. It was hard for me to be quiet enough to hear God. I tried very hard, but still felt inadequate. My parents would tell me to listen in my heart, but I was unsure what this looked like, or felt like.
One of the most beautiful Adoration chapels I visited was St. Maria Goretti’s in Scottsdale, Arizona. As I remember it is a glass room, standing alone. Outside are palm trees that blow in the wind and give you the sensation of being outside. Inside was a circular kneeler. Four Angels are holding candles signifying God’s presence in the Eucharist. A Golden cross made of wheat shafts (bronze) houses a clear bowl of the Eucharist. I highly suggest stopping in, if in the area.
In this latest season of my life, which is filled with business, and busyness, and noisy children, I find myself going to adoration chapel in Newport Beach, and finding complete rest.
As I sit or kneel, I sink into a complete peace, and I am able to empty my mind almost completely. If no one is present and there is complete silence, I can only describe the feelings as going Underwater with Jesus. It is a sinking into silence and connection that is total immersion. Literally I could feel the silence, as if slipping under the water, closing out the sounds of life.
Living in Southern California as a lifeguard and swimmer, much of my life was spent underwater. The quiet and separation from land life was peaceful and contemplative. As a distance swimmer, I was left to the quiet of the water and my thoughts for long periods of time. Swimming a mile can take around 30 minutes.
As I sat with the Blessed Sacrament today, my mind emptied, and the light and peace of God filled me immediately. It is almost addictive. I know where to run, where to turn as soon as my peace is disturbed. What a gift we have in our Catholic Church to pass this gift down through the centuries.
For all you busy moms out there, I invite you to experience those special moments of peace that can only come from God. (And you don’t even need a SCUBA license…)
Copyright 2013 Marya Jauregui