Tonight, something burned away from me. Big time.
We had a whole day of events at church today, and it was really cool, right? Well, it all ended with Mass and then Adoration. For those who don’t know, Adoration is when a priest brings out the blessed sacrament and puts it on display for folks to adore. Put differently, it is an opportunity for people to sit in a physical presence of God, to look right at a physical form of Him. (The blessed sacrament is bread that has undergone transubstantiation, a change of form/state, into the exact form that was the bread Jesus, way back when in the Garden of Gethsemane, declared to be his body. The priests have a beautiful right – is it actually called a right?? Now, I’m doubting myself here… – in which they recreate Jesus’ words and actions, allowing for the bread and wine to become the body and blood of Christ, just as they were when Jesus declared them to be his body and blood.) It’s like having someone here in person, instead of over the phone – prayer, aka conversation, with one sitting right in front of us.
During Adoration tonight, there was some music, some prayer led aloud, and some silence. For part of the time, the blessed sacrament sat on the altar for all to see. And, eventually, the priests and deacons carried it slowly around the entire church – it’s a quite large church, you see – for everyone to be able to pray right up close to the blessed sacrament.
I tell you, every time I got to see it straight on, clearly, I suddenly lost the capacity to sing. All I experienced in those moments was intensity through my whole being, like a current being upped immensely in power. The words that suddenly filled my head were simply, “Love,” and, “My Love.” Every time.
And then, when it came around by us – I was even on the end of the pew, and they stopped almost exactly next to me – things went to a whole new level. As it turned the corner onto our aisle, my breathing became inexplicably heavy and fast. My tears turned into heavy, intense crying. I was in a sudden full-blown, desperation-type cry in mere moments. We were already kneeling, and I couldn’t even keep myself up – I fell to the ground… or, rather, I went from sitting tall on my knees to collapsing on my heels, holding onto the pew to keep myself from falling off the kneeler, my chin just above even with the pew back where I was holding myself still upright, but lower to the ground than before.
When they were within about a meter or two, I felt a sudden heat approaching me, coming from their direction. As they got next to me, I felt like the intensity of a sun was exploding outward from the small group of priests as deacons, the blessed sacrament at the center. My entire body was intensely hot, in a matter of moments and directly connected to the position of the blessed sacrament. As I roughly cried my heart out, my whole body shaking, I could feel something burning away from me, layers being penetrated and spots being dissolved in the crazy heat. It felt like a fever times two. I considered how I needed to take off my sweatshirt, also the jacket that had been covering the backs of my legs… yet I couldn’t make a move beyond crying and clinging to the pew, looking directly to the blessed sacrament, struggling to breathe calmly (and failing). I even felt one priest notice and look right at me as I fell downward, but I didn’t even look at him as I typically would do. I was pinned.
And then, this small eternity in the cosmos ended. The priests and deacons began to walk again, moving to the next spot. As they moved away, I could feel the temperature changing by small jolts with each step they took. Perhaps thirty seconds or so later, I found no need to remove my sweatshirt, as it was back to the winter cool it had been all day in the church.
And I collapsed even further, like all my energy had been spent, like after a long, long day of work and a nice cleansing shower, how I collapse into bed… it felt like that. I could barely even hold onto the pew back at this point, I just draped an arm on it to keep me from collapsing fully to the floor. My eyes could just see over the pew back, following the blessed sacrament still, but from a distance now. All my energy was gone. I had been well worn, it felt, well washed and scrubbed and cleaned. I tried singing a bit, and could only manage it when I couldn’t see the blessed sacrament directly. Every time I saw it, no sound was emitted from me, now matter how I may have intended.
I eventually got my energy restored and was even more energetic afterward than I had been all day today. My mom was asking the main priest about a quote afterward, and I joined them briefly as I returned from a bathroom trip. The priest recognized me from adoration – he remembered seeing me crying. I wasn’t embarrassed. Not in the least.
And I noticed that I felt so much more myself now, not so afraid or strained or stressed about anything anymore. Weight had been lifted, and from all of me, somehow. Now, I’m going to bed much later than I like or than usual. I am utterly exhausted. I do not know what is going to happen with my living situation or my financial situation. Nope. And, somehow, I’m not secretly incredibly stressed about that. We’ll just face that tomorrow and onward. May God’s way manifest clearly and beautifully, and may I embody it fully through myself in every way.