I have a special friend that I would love to share with you. Her name is Becky, and she is a faithful mother and grandmother who loves the Lord very much. I met Becky for the first time in 2002, in the spacious narthex of my parish. I was on a mission to encourage parishioners to spend time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. One of our committee’s goals was to find three to four willing people to spend an hour with Jesus each Thursday. Adoration began right after the 8:00 a.m. mass and continued all through the day until Benediction at 6:50 p.m.
Some of the hours during the afternoon needed a few more adorers. Our committee didn’t want parishioners who volunteered for Eucharistic Adoration to be the only adorer in the church. We knew that family commitments were important, appointments came up, vacations scheduled, or an adorer may just not feel well. We wanted weekly adoration to be a joyful experience! If an adorer couldn’t be at his or her designated Holy Hour; then they would have peace knowing two or three other adorers would be in church keeping company with Jesus in His Real Presence. Saint Pope John Paul II encourages us all ” In the Mass and in Eucharistic Adoration we meet the merciful love of God that passes through the Heart of Jesus Christ.”
It was an honor meeting Becky that Thursday afternoon many years ago! I was going through a basket of books that our committee set out as spiritual reading for the adorers. These were often books on the saints, scripture or Catholic devotions. Sometimes, parishioners would stop in to visit Jesus but were not signed up for a particular holy hour. As Becky came out of the church and into the narthex it was there that we had our first encounter! I remember Becky’s smile, friendliness and joy radiating from spending time with the Lord. But there was something else, a look of worry perhaps? I would soon find out. I introduced myself, asked her name, and inquired “ Are you a weekly adorer for the noon hour? " A look of panic took over Becky’s sweet face as she anxiously blurted out “ But I am not Catholic!” As it turned out Becky was a fifth generation Episcopalian who was going to Adoration each week, hoping that no one would find out and turn her away for not being Catholic! I calmly smiled, and responded “ Well that’s okay.” I was so inspired by Becky’s sincere devotion to the Lord; Catholic or not I invited her to become a regular noon adorer, and she wholeheartedly agreed.
Twenty years later, Becky and I have happily remained good friends. We fondly recalled on the telephone just a few weeks ago; the unique circumstances of how we met. I asked Becky what her first experience of Eucharistic Adoration was like. She enthusiastically responded “ I have never felt like that before, it was so amazing, Kathy!” My dear friend reminded me how I encouraged her to persevere in spending time with the Lord, and how I didn’t discourage her from making a holy hour because she wasn’t Catholic. Becky simply explained “ You welcomed me.”
Becky also recalled that after our first meeting in the narthex; she spent many more years in weekly Eucharisitc Adoration allowing the Lord to convert her heart, mind and soul more fully to Him. On Holy Saturday, in 2007, Becky joyfully came into full communion of the Catholic Church! Shortly after becoming Catholic; Becky joined the Eucharistic Adoration committee. She vigorously helped to welcome parishioners to spend precious time in the Real Presence of the Lord. Her sweet devotion to the Lord has been a blessing to so many through the years! She also joined the parish Vocation Ministry and was such a happy collaborator!
I asked Becky how she originally found out about Eucharistic Adoration at our church. She doesn’t exactly remember the details of how, but she does recall at that time she was invited by some ladies in her neighborhood to pray the rosary with them. Of course, this all makes sense now; how the Blessed Mother’s role is always one that brings us closer to her Son! Through the prayers of the rosary; Mary brought Becky close to Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration, and then the Lord in great love and abundant mercy brought Becky to me as a blessing! A spiritual friendship that will one day continue on into eternity! (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Even though Becky and I have both left parish ministry life to care for our families; we are good friends, sisters-in- Christ, praying for each other; rooted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus who calls us all to become the saints we are meant to be. One of Becky’s favorite saints is Saint Teresa of Avila. She loves this quote, and I hope you will too! “ May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”