Written by Sherry
Thursday, 22 March 2007 07:32
One very interesting thing I have see in my own experience and heard from others as I travel is the mysterious power of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament to affect even those who are not believers and have no idea Who is present.
There are a number of stories I could tell:
There is my own story since it was the recognition of a presence of God that I had not experienced elsewhere that originally lured me into praying in Catholic churches as an undergraduate.
And the story of a friend of mine, who was a unbelieving, practicing homosexual and yet was also seeking and would spend hours at a time simply sitting in my parish, soaking up the Real Presence.
I could tell you of an unbaptized college student who went to a friend of mine, a Catholic chaplain and said she wanted to become Catholic. The priest asked "Why? Do you have Catholic family members or friends, do you attend Mass, have you been reading books? What has made you want to become Catholic? "No", she replied and then dragged him with trembling hands into the sanctuary and pointed to the tabernacle. "I want that", she said. She didn't know what That was but she could feel the goodness eminating from the tabernacle.
I could tell you of a large, urban diocese rejuvenated by a lay person who championed Eucharistic Adoration and collaborated with her bishop to establish it in the cathedral and then throughout the diocese.
What if we stop thinking of Adoration as only a devotion for the already devout and consider it also as a form of evangelization particularly suited to the post-modern mindset which responds to mystery and presence?
The presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is accessible to the non-baptized, the non-Catholic, the unchurched, the lapsed, the badly catechized, the wounded, the skeptical, the seeking, and the prodigal.
I know that there are movements for youth and young adults that combine adoration and praise and worship in various creative ways. I know of evangelization retreats that incorporate Adoration into the retreat. But this is the sort of thing that could be easily done in the local parish - Adoration regularly presented in a context that would be accessible to and sensitive to the unbelieving, the marginal, the seeking.
So it would have to be simply explained and simply presented and not simply dripping with the uber Catholic insider visuals that could distract or alarm. Reverent, haunting, and intentionally accessible on a regular basis to those with no Catholic background.
"If I am lifted up, I will draw everyone to me" said Christ in John 12:32.
Anyone know of a parish or diocese that is doing this?
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