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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Starbucks Jesus

I figured out that if you leave your question in the comments that might do it. My question is about Adoration. I go, but I'm not sure what to do and the whole idea of it confuses me. Am I supposed to pray or be silent in His presence...or alternate both? What do I pray for? I go in there with a list but I don't feel like it's quite appropriate to do this...but I don't know what else to do . I pray a lot for guidance on what to do while I am in there and a closer relationship with Him. I also take a few books with prayers in there, too...but I always think I am "doing it wrong". For once, I would like to do something "right". Would you spell it out for me and help out? Thank you Sister. Oh, and one more question... When I go to Adoration (it's in a small chapel), I always go to my seat first and then kneel down facing the monstrance for my opening prayers. Some people walk in and kneel down right in the aisle and "block traffic" so to speak. I want to do what's proper. 

Yes, leave your questions in the comments section.

Now that we have that out of the way....

This Adoration thing is not a confusing idea.  But I do understand your confusion. I mean, really, if you said to me, "Come on over and adore me", I wouldn't know what to do either. 

Adding to the feeling that you are doing it wrong are other factors:

1. Everyone else seems to know exactly what they're doing. Especially, those people who are clogging up the aisles in an adoration logjam.

2. The decor and atmosphere are sure signs that "you are not in Kansas anymore". It can give you that feeling you have when you discover no one told you the brunch was black tie only. The monstrance is a really big ornate gold thing.  You have a run in your hose. That sort of feeling. Jesus is there wearing black tie and you are there in your pajamas. Like that. 

So, yeah. I understand.

You just need to adjust your perception a little. Then you'll be fine.

So imagine this. You're sitting in your house stewing in your own juice about whatever is eating you today. You're doing whatever it is you do there, putting some coffee on, sweeping the front walk, wondering if you should do the dishes now or wait until the lunch dishes are in there, too. You get an excited call from a neighbor. Jesus Christ in the flesh is over at the Starbucks with a few of His disciples.

It's a block away from you!

So, of course, you throw on whatever isn't pajamas and get down there.  Now what?

Are you worried you're not dressed right?  I doubt it.  Are you afraid to speak to Him? You just might be.

But it would be enough just to be there, wouldn't it? And if He caught your eye and smiled, or put His hand on your shoulder, that would make all that stuff you've been stewing about just evaporate, wouldn't it. Probably just being there would.

That's Adoration. Go down to that Starbucks where Jesus stopped in. And just be there. There's no wrong way to do that. You can ask questions. You can pray any prayers you want to pray. You can let Him know what's bothering you. Or not. He knows already anyhow.

You can politely step by the logjam, or you can join them. Would you worry about where the disciples were sitting or standing or kneeling at the Starbucks? Of course not. You'd just squeeze in there anyway you could. 

You might look down and find you're still wearing your slippers.  That's okay, too.

The only thing you could possibly do wrong is to be disrespectful. Somehow I don't think that's an issue, either. Jesus didn't turn away the disrespectful. The Pharisees were always at the edges of the crowds who gathered around Jesus, making snarky remarks and trying to dream up questions that would stump Him. He never told them to take a hike. And they were probably dressed nicely.

So relax. Jesus is adorable. 


TRS said...

Oh my gosh, I love this. The perfect how to of adoration!

Saint of the day? I'm guessing... Is it mother Francis Xavier Cabrini?

abishag said...

Sister -

I have to confess that I've seen that fellow with the Starbucks cup! He lives in Los Angeles (maybe West Hollywood?) and his name is Kevin. I don't know why he dresses "like Jesus" (as if we know what Jesus dressed like) but he seems to be a friendly person, and I took seeing him as a "sign" that my formerly agnostic self was trepidatiously going to catechumen classes. You see, I got on the bus one Saturday after a thoroughly thought-provoking and unsettling class where we discussed that big "If God loves us, why is there suffering?" question, and I was full of all kinds of thoughts and feelings and I looked up and there was someone who looked like Jesus, getting up and offering someone else his seat on the crowded bus. He had two Starbucks cups in his hands at the time. He got off the bus at (you won't believe it, but I swear this is true) at Temple Israel. It was one of the funniest and surprisingly inspirational experiences I've had. There were many reasons I came back to God, and I really can't count one more goofy Hollywood weirdo as a major influence, but it was like a silly reminder that I was moving in the right direction. And maybe even a sign that God does have a pretty good sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful answer!
I love Adoration but there was a time when I was brand new to the idea and it took awhile for me to get the hang of it, too. Now I always think of it like sitting in the sun - no matter what your mind is doing, those rays are going to fall on you and warm you. In the same way, no matter what you're doing in Adoration - making prayers of petition, pouring your heart out to God over what's bothering you, praying a Rosary, reading, or even if you're distracted or (gasp!) asleep - Jesus is right there, and His real presence IS going to affect you. You really can't lose.

Just remember that you're sitting with a Person. Jesus is truly present in that chapel just as much as anyone praying there. He is there to love you, and all you need to do is let Him. The particulars of how you do that are up to you.

As far as the kneeling etiquette, I will say that in my experience, the most common thing to do when you enter a church/chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed is to kneel down briefly, kind of like a two-knee genuflection. This can be done as soon as you walk through the door, or when you cross the aisle in front of the monstrance, or at the end of your pew before you go to sit/kneel down. It will depend on the layout of the room and how many people are in there.

Katney said...

The two knee genuflection was the appropriate response when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Someone told me that it was no longer required.