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Conversations with God


Pope John Paul II



Y
ou open the door to the adoration chapel and walk in. You have just stepped into the Real Presence, i.e., the presence of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the fullness of His divine and human natures. This is Jesus Who was sent by the Father to redeem us. He is also our Teacher (Rabboni) who teaches us about the Father, the Holy Spirit, ourselves, and how to live our lives. He is the One Who is the origin of all truth. Indeed, He is Truth itself. He knows everything about us. And He loves us unconditionally. He is the source of all miraculous healings and cures. All we know about Him is what He has revealed to us. The One Who has created everything that we see, hear, feel, smell and taste has humbled Himself to be present in the Tabernacle or in a Monstrance under the outward appearance of bread so that we can dare to approach His unequalled Magnificence. This is a mystery far beyond our comprehension! Nothing compares to the magnitude of this single act of His Divine and human Humility through which He offers Himself out of His Divine and human Love for us as He did on the Cross. He is The Real, True, Living Presence, body and blood, soul and divinity, waiting for you, in the adoration chapel.

Why do the people come here? For many reasons. But most have come before their Creator to build stone by stone and with His assistance a solid and enduring relationship with Him. For some it is a tremendous struggle until they realize that Jesus Himself provides the foundation, the stones and the grace to perservere. All that we are expected to supply is the labor of cooperation and self-surrender. The more diligent we are in our labor, the greater the structure, the greater the structure the greater the reward. What is the reward? It is a closer more intimate relationship with God. The closer we get, the greater our joy will be.

What kinds of labor are performed to build this relationship with God? We begin by offering, on a regular basis, an hour of our time; perhaps once a week to be in the Eucharistic Presence of the Lord and to do one or more of the following:

 
Worship An Offering to God Do Penanace and Make Reparation
Make Temporal Petitions Offering and Sacrifice
Make Spiritual Petitions Give Testimony
Give Thanks Be Silent
Forgive and Be Forgiven Contemplate


 
WORSHIP - We worship God through an act of our will when we decide to be in His Most Holy Presence. We also worship God through our physical positions as well as our prayers. When you enter a holy place, such as an adoration chapel dip your fingers in holy water and make a devout sign of the cross saying the words “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” as you perform the physical act of making the sign of the cross - On your knees to pay God the respect He alone deserves. For the elderly or infirm, a bow or simple acknowledgement of His Presence will suffice to pay respect to their Creator. According to the fervor of your reaction to being in the Eucharistic Presence of our Lord and Savior, a bow from the kneeling position or complete prostration, when room permits, is a most pleasing acknowledgement to the Presence of the Supreme Being.

We also worship God by reading the many beautiful prayers of praise contained in the Book of Psalms. Other prayers that pay homage to God may be found in your favorite prayer book. In addition, we may worship Our Lord by our own spontaneous prayers that come from the heart as a reaction to the Greatness of God. These are genuine acts of praise meant for Him alone.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
TEMPORAL PETITIONS - When family, friends, acquaintances or we ourselves need or want things that are of this world such as:

then we prayerfully Implore Our Lord and ask for what we want, even if it takes a miracle, but only if it is God's Will that our request be answered.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
SPIRITUAL PETITIONS - Not only do we have a body but we also have a soul which needs spiritual nourishment to achieve its ultimate goal, Heaven and the Beatific Vision. Petition God to raise you to the level of holiness He has waiting for you and you alone. Plead with Him to teach you how to know, love and serve Him. Ask for an increase in graces in all the virtues so that you may imitate Our Blessed Mother in the perfection in which she practiced them. Call upon the angels and saints to intercede before the Throne of God for ourselves and others.

Pray for the sick, the dying and those who are homeless or in prison to keep satan from snatching them away in their moments of despair and confusion. Pray for the spiritual well-being of family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers openly living in mortal sin who will surely go to Hell without your petitions to God on their behalf. Never forget to include the Poor Souls in Purgatory in your offering of prayers to God. They, in turn, will become petitioners for you. When you earnestly plead for others, you are twice blest for God not only hears the invocation but He also hears the voice of the supplicant.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
THANKSGIVING - Everything is a good that comes from God and belongs to God. The roads, cars, streetlights, family, friends, clothes, food, trees, grass, sky, mountains, you name it, God created it. Oh yes! So and so is written as the inventor of this gadget or that machine but every inventor was given the talent to invent from God. We owe thanks to God for everything we have and enjoy all day long when we truly comprehend this, we will realize our arrogance for thoughts we have about "our accomplishments" or "our possessions". For in truth we are nothing and owe all that we are and have to God and God alone. Since there is nothing we have that is ours, there is no way we can possibly repay Our Lord for His generosity. However we can and should, at the very least, acknowledge His gifts to us and demonstrate our gratitude through prayers of thanksgiving for the many gifts we receive in abundance daily from Him.

We even need to be thankful for the crosses God sends to us. It is our obligation to accept our crosses because they are God's Holy Will for us. They are visible signs of His love that He gives to each of us. These sufferings, united to Christ, are our opportunities to grow in holiness. How many times have we heard from the greatest of saints about the enormous value of suffering. Why so? Because through our sufferings we grow ever closer to God. And the closer we get to God, the greater our joy will be for all eternity. As Jesus accepted His Father's Will and the cup of suffering in the garden so should we. (Matthew 26:39).



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
FORGIVENESS - Appeal to God's Divine Mercy. In the "Diary" of St. Faustina, Jesus says; "…I am Love and Mercy itself. (1074) … Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. (699) … My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. (1485) … I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. (1485)… The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. (723)".

When we ask for forgiveness and mercy, we are told by Jesus that we have to forgive and be merciful to others, "For if you forgive men their trepasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trepasses." (Matthew 6:14-15). Jesus tells us to forgive without limit when He told Peter he must forgive His brother, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21).

God wants us to approach His Divine Mercy and obtain sacramental forgiveness by going to Confession to reconcile our relationship with Him. It is through the sacrament of reconciliation that we receive God's forgiveness for our sins as well as an abundance of graces to help us to maintain our relationship with Him. Penance is a sacrament of forgiveness and peace. When we lose God, we lose our joy.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
PENANCE & REPARATION - Many horrible sins are committed against Jesus Christ who offered Himself as a victim for the reparation of sins. Sins of blasphemies at war with the Holy Name, invalid and graceless Holy Communions, sacrileges that oppose and profane the Sacred Host, infidelity and unfaithfulness of and abuse toward His love for us, disobedience to His Holy Laws, and hostile contempt towards His Holy Presence. Although God in His Divine Mercy forgives us our sins, we still have to repair for whatever damage those sins may have caused. We need to make amends not only for our sinful conduct against God but also for the disorder we brought into the world by our sinful conduct. We do this through penance and reparation.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
OFFERING & SACRIFICE - When the heart is moved with gratitude, we are prompted to respond in ways that we know are pleasing to God. It becomes easy to practice the gift of charity because He Who is Almighty has done something great for me and I feel His Love yet I am not worthy of it. Let me make a personal offering of my time or talents, or money to someone less fortunate. Let me make a sacrifice of something which I sense has value, and never thought I could live without. Let me reach out and touch someone because I have been touched and I know I will never be the same. Like Blessed Mother Teresa, let me do something beautiful for God. Physical actions united to Christ and performed for the love of God are prayer.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
TESTIMONIALS - God is a living God. He is here today physically present, body and blood, soul and divinity, in the Holy Eucharist. This is the same God who walked among the people 2000 years ago and performed miracles, cured the sick, healed the blind and lame, cast out demons, forgave sins and taught people how to live their lives. He is still doing the same things today.

People committed to adoration found themselves healed spiritually or physically or their lives were visibly improved in some manner or another. All they know is they needed something, they prayed to God for it and received it. These are the people who will stand there and tell you about the goodness of the Lord. They are ready to proclaim what has happened to them to anyone who is willing to listen. Like the one leper out of the ten that Our Lord cured (Luke 17:12-19), these people not only came back to give thanks to the Lord but they are ready and willing to proclaim it to the world. By their testimonies, their faith increases not only for themselves but for those who see and hear them.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
SILENCE - We pay homage to God when we practice silence in His Presence. It is probably difficult for most of us to allow silence to take over, to "just be". To pay no attention to our sense of sight, hearing and smell, to allow no internal words to surface, to not even have a thought, to just sit or kneel before the monstrance and wait, preferably with our eyes closed. It is in the glow of this silence that God speaks to our heart. There are no words to describe the communication which takes place in our inner being when we experience it, we know the value of silence. We feel a wonderful closeness to Him whom we love. We sense peace. It is not necessary to fill our time before the King of Kings with constant prayer. It is considered adoration when we care enough to come into the chapel just to be with Him. Simply being consciously in the presence of God is a form of prayer.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God




 
CONTEMPLATION - For a long time, contemplation was considered to belong to the domain of those in religious life, especially for the monks and cloistered orders. Not any more. Contemplation is for all of us who seek a closer, more personal relationship with Jesus. When you diligently seek to stay in the state of grace through the frequent reception of the sacraments of reconciliation and communion, you become more disciplined, more faithful to your conversations with God. Your prayer life will gradually deepen whenever you enter into contemplation. Always ask Jesus to help you. Start with whatever causes you to focus on God. It could be a holy image, a favorite prayer, or maybe a reading from a spiritual book. Place yourself in a state of humility. Abandon the world around you. Empty yourself of ego and all that identifies you with the world. Dismiss your cares and charges and yield your will entirely to Him. Be dependent upon Him and open your heart wide to wait for the Spirit of the Lord to come to you. God initiates the moment. When it arrives you will want it to last an eternity. You will return often to contemplation, to the joy of the closeness to God in prayer.

From here on, what you started to build stone by stone gradually takes on the shape and form of a beautiful structure. By your perseverance and labor you have bridged the gap between Heaven and earth. Contemplation has elevated you into a meaningful relationship with God.



Return to Index of Topics Remember, prayer is conversation with God





When we leave the adoration chapel, we are to carry the joy of our relationship with God to everyone we meet. We are expected to evangelize, to speak to everyone about God. He wants us to act as His representative on earth so that others are able to find Him through us. It is through our deeds of corporal and spiritual works of mercy that others will discover God. Then in return, we too will begin to see God in others.

Pray for those who walk away from the challenge to develop a relationship with God.



Corporal Works of Mercy            Spiritual Works of Mercy
     Feed the hungry              Admonish sinners
Give drink to the thirsty         Instruct the uninformed
Clothe the naked         Counsel the doubtful
Shelter the homeless         Comfort the sorrowful
Comfort the imprisoned         Be patient with those in error
Visit the sick         Forgive offenses
Bury the dead         Pray for the living and the dead




The Blessed Virgin Mary


God's Most Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary,
guides us, leads us, and intercedes for us
to her Son, Jesus, through prayer.



Remember, prayer is conversation with God




The following is a poem from the 19th century that describes nuns in a convent
monastery that has much to say of the variety and richness
of the adorer's experience during perpetual adoration.

Chapel in honor of St. Francis Caracciolo,
Patron Saint of the Adorno Fathers

Perpetual Adoration

by Georgiana Fullerton

(from The Gold-Digger and Other Poems, London, 1872)

They kneel at eve, they kneel at morn,
Each takes her turn, and prayers are borne
On ceaseless wings of service true.
They kneel at noon,—at midnight, too,
They come and go in silence deep,
And one by one their vigils keep;
Each hour brings its meed of praise,
Its offering at the altar lays.

While one uplifts her raptured eyes
As if to storm the opening skies,
With hands upraised and lips apart
As if from earth about to start,—
Another weeps and sighs and fears,
Bedews the ground with contrite tears,
Tells her deep grief to God alone,
Suffers and lives, and dies unknown.

An agèd Sister kneels aside;
And beads through her rough fingers glide.
Though old in years, yet young in heart,
She simply fills her duteous part;
Then seeks her couch, and dreams of nought
Save homely tasks devoutly wrought.
Narrow her sphere, but high her aim;
The fuel coarse, but pure the flame.

Fair is the face, though pale and wan,
Of her who with the dawn began
Her lonely watch. Sweet blighted flower!
Faded in youth's first opening hour,
Full many a storm has swept athwart
That careworn brow and bruisèd heart:
Fancy and Passion's dreams had thrown
Dark shadows there, which now are flown.

The weary spirit finds its rest
In God, as on a mother's breast:
A holy, deep, unearthly peace
Has settled on that soul and face;
The claspèd hands, the yearning eyes
Turn with meek longings to the skies,
As if to ask for patient strength
Through life's unknown, unwelcome length.

With angel visage, calm and mild,
Kneels in her turn a Saint-like child;
Nor sin nor sorrow led her feet,
Trembling to seek the Mercy-seat:
A love too great, too wide for earth,
In her pre, spotless soul found birth;
And life's most dazzling visions fail'd
To hide the light her spirit hail'd.

They come, they go!—the ceaseless round
Of solemn worship knows no bound;
Devotion sweet and penance keen
Beneath that vaulted roof are seen.
Hearts that have bled are seeking there
The healing balm of endless prayer;
And joys beyond this world's are given
To souls already ripe for heaven.





Our Lady of Fatima photo courtesy of William J. Smith at Eternal Life.

DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul,
© 1987 Congregation of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.
All rights reserved. Published with permission.


Photo of the Eucharistic Chapel in honor of
St. Francis Caracciolo, Patron Saint of the Adorno Fathers,
is used with permission of Fr. Frank Palimeri
(Jesus, Our Risen Savior Church, Spartanburg, SC).





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