St Faustina and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
The Diary of St Faustina contains many treasures that as the people of God we have yet to unpack. Some of them are the insights and experiences she received during adoration and about adoration.
What is adoration? Spending time in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus – hidden in the tabernacle or exposed in a monstrance. Whether it is a stolen moment, a few minutes, an hour of prayer, or an extended time of prayer, each visit is an act of faith in His Real Presence, and an act of love because we have sacrificed doing other things in order to linger with Jesus. When we sit in adoration we learn that prayer is something God does in us independent of our own efforts, and that choosing to spend time with Him this way is following in the footsteps of St Mary Magdalene who chose the better part.
Adoration has intercessory power
St Faustina had a practice of offering up each hour of adoration for a particular intention. Passage 319 'For the conversion of hardened sinners, especially for those who have lost hope in God's mercy', 'To make amends for ingratitude'. Passage 346 'For parents and whole family', 'For the intentions of my spiritual director, thanking God for him and asking that he be given the necessary light to guide me with', 'For the Holy Church, for clergy, for the missions, for religious of my order', 'For the holy souls in purgatory'. Passage 355 'For a sister who asked me to pray for her', 'For the conversion of sinners', 'In expiation for insults against God', 'For my spiritual director'. Passage 1061 'In thanksgiving for the graces granted me and in thanksgiving for a time of illness and for the graces granted during that time of illness'.
If one of these intentions rarely crosses your mind, then make it your intention for the rest of the day or your special intention for tomorrow.
Adoration has consequences
From St Faustina's diary we see that she had a regular hour of adoration of a Thursday evening. It was during this hour that so many spiritual lights, encouraging messages, and inspirations came to her. Once Jesus permitted St Faustina to experience the wrath of the demons following her hour of adoration so that she would learn that many souls hardened in sin had been snatched from them due to that hour of prayerful atonement. Passage 320
If you are someone who likes using a highlighter pen, go through her Diary and highlight the things that happened on Thursdays, 'during adoration' or 'during Holy Hour' and discover how much good all of us have received through her faithfulness to adoration.
Adoration is not something you do alone
Even if you think you are alone in the chapel, there will be angels, saints and holy souls with you. St Faustina recognised this and often united her adoration with theirs. Passage 319 'I called upon the whole of heaven to join me in making amends to the Lord'. Passage 691 'I remained in prayer for a whole hour and united myself in spirit with those souls who are already worshipping God in the perfect way.' She found doing this very helpful, especially when having difficulty in praying.
When next you have an important intention to pray for, ask some of the saints to intercede with you.
Adoration matters to Jesus
During a time of adoration, Jesus told St Faustina, 'My daughter, know that your ardent love and the compassion you have for Me were a consolation to Me in the Garden' Passage 1664. He even rebuked her gently when one day she completely forgot to go to her hour of adoration, 'I have been waiting to share My suffering with you, for who can understand My suffering better than My spouse?' Passage 348
If you haven't yet committed yourself to a weekly hour of adoration, work out how to make it a part of your weekly routine.
Adoration doesn't depend upon our feelings
Even if you are very tired, unable to pray, and unable to kneel, and you still remain with Him for an hour, still go because you may hear what Jesus said to St Faustina when she felt like that, 'Your prayer is extremely pleasing to Me' Passage 691.
Sometimes there is sweetness, consolation and inspiration. Sometimes there is struggle, pain and desolation. Sometimes there are no feelings at all. Being with Jesus is what matters, what happens – if anything – is up to Him.
Don't give up. Even a Hail Mary prayed in spiritual aridity is far more valuable than a Hail Mary prayed when the presence of God brings you joy. We prove that we love Him when we continue to love Him when consolations are absent.
When we can be like St Faustina, and be delighted to have three hours of free time to spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Passage 346, then we can say that we have truly unpacked a treasure from her diary.
St Faustina Kowalska, patron of WYD 2016, pray for us.