By Michael H. Brown
[Please note that archived articles now fully restored after tech change]
I have this sense that things are accelerating. Do you feel the same way? First, of course, there are the natural events — hurricanes followed by floods and volcanic activity, by storms, by the tsunami. In our own lives, it’s all now rush-rush: we don’t seem to be able to slow down. Busy-ness. In fact, one bishop in India cited our frantic pace of life and ignoring the Lord as a possible reason for a horrid Asian disaster.
Whether or not that’s the case, it’s also like time itself has been sped up. Does it seem like the weeks just fly by, that it’s suddenly Monday or Wednesday, Friday again — and again? Are you on a treadmill? Are you too “busy” to deal personally with people any longer?
Maybe it’s a product of age — that everything seems to be moving fast. But there are alleged seers who have felt that God is speeding up time as an act of mercy in this troubled period. A “timetable” has been set in place, we read in one alleged prophecy. A South American seer said that before we know it, major events will be upon us — with unexpected rapidity. “’Launched,’ that’s what I heard from God, and I got the sense that things are really going to accelerate, that God really wants our attention, that things are just too out of balance,” said another alleged mystic, this one in California.
Ironic it is that even geologically, scientists say the earthquake that caused the great Asian tsunami of 2005 repositioned islands and altered the earth’s rotation in such a way that the North Pole was shifted by an inch (2.5 centimeters) and the length of each day was shortened by 2.68 microseconds.
Of course, that’s minuscule, but symbolic: There is not enough time any more in a day. We can’t get things done. There’s no time for family. There’s no time for personal interaction. There’s no time for God.
And we must combat this by going before the Blessed Sacrament.
This is what the Vatican recently advised us to do by issuing a new “indulgence” some years back for those who pray before Our Lord as He is present in that potent sacrament.
Let us take advantage of it. In these times, God grants us peace from all the turmoil,the bad news, from television, social media, from the everlasting noise around us.
As I wrote in Secrets of the Eucharist: “When we spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, we feel a power similar to that during elevation of the Host. We encounter a holiness second only to Mass. While nothing is more powerful than the liturgy, Adoration comes in second. During Adoration, which keeps the Blessed Sacrament right there before us, prayers are heard and answered.”
I have spoken to nuns who have had visions of mighty angels in chapels of the Blessed Sacrament, and others who have encountered delightful and reverential strangers who in retrospect seemed like angels praying fervently before the Host or even prostrate on the floor of a chapel. In one shrine dedicated to Fatima in Youngstown, New York, a medical doctor reported the inexplicable materialization of a Host in the hands of a woman she was accompanying in the Blessed Sacrament chapel. Others saw or felt wonderful things while praying there, including an image of the Shroud that seemed to take shape in the monstrance.
If we could see just a fraction of the graces available before the Blessed Sacrament, and realize the peace we can obtain there, we would flock to the nearest chapel each and every day.
When I visit an area, I can often sense when a church has Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I can sense it because there’s a feeling of peace and unusually high Mass attendance. The Blessed Sacrament draws people. It imbues the church with an aura of holiness. It gives the parish an active charism. It becomes the very heart — the radiant and vibrant heart — of a parish.
St. Margaret Mary saw the Host this way, as radiant. Often, while praying before the Blessed Sacrament, it came alive to her. It served as a window — a port hole — into the heavenly dimension. It drew her like a powerful magnet. “I could have spent whole days and nights there, without eating or drinking, and without knowing what I was doing, except that I was being consumed in His presence like a burning taper, in order to return Him love for love,” said St. Margaret Mary, speaking of the Blessed Sacrament.
We remember Padre Pio saying that a few minutes before the Blessed Sacrament are worth more than years of any worldly endeavor. It is during Adoration that we get direction from On High. It's during Adoration that God speaks to us through the peace that touches our hearts. It is there that He speaks best not so much in locutions or visions as in the deep recesses of our consciousness.
It is there that we find a sense of safety. It is there that we feel peace. It is there that the earth slows down.
Go the Adoration, slow things down — and pray for the world there. It is spinning out of control.
[resources: Secrets of the Eucharist; we will be announcing a retreat in Wichita]