The Adoration List update

April 7, 2008 | Daily Spirituality, Prayer | 41 comments

On Friday I told you about the idea of keeping an “Adoration List.” The idea first came to me in the beginning of March, so though it was frustrating to have to wait almost 30 days to see the fruits of the habit, it was a great relief to have a way to let go of the little daily worries that linger in the back of my mind. At least once a day I thought of how eager I was for the first Friday to roll around!

When Friday finally arrived, I was so eager to get down to the nearest Adoration chapel and go over this list. It had grown rather long, and I couldn’t wait to see what I’d find through prayer: what would I find to be the big issues worth addressing? What would turn out to be things that seemed like a big deal at the time but are really not worth worrying about at all? There were so many scattered thoughts scribbled down on that paper, I was glad I wrote everything down since it would be impossible to remember it all.

As I prepared to get out of the house, things were already Not Going How I Wanted Them to Go™. I had let time slip by and it was getting late. I didn’t finish some things I wanted to get done before I left. My mother had made a wonderful last-minute offer to babysit so that my husband could go with me, but the kids were uncharacteristically fussy about us leaving, and it required the skill of a snake charmer to extricate ourselves from the chaos without all three of them having simultaneous meltdowns. When we were finally in the car and on the road, I still felt tense and stressed, but took great comfort in knowing that I would finally be able to bring my long list of worries before the Lord. I will leave it up to your imagination as to how I reacted when I realized:

I forgot the list.

I. Forgot. The. *%@!&#. List. And there was no turning back — it was already late, we were more than half way to the church, going back in the house would get the kids all wound up again, and I had no idea where I’d left it anyway. I was beside myself. I had been looking forward to this every single day for weeks, I really felt like it was an idea I’d been led to through prayer, and now it was all for naught because of an absent-minded mistake (it was with bitter irony that I recalled that one of the items on the list was “Am I too forgetful?”).

To be honest, I’m not sure if I would have even gone to Adoration if my husband hadn’t been with me. The self-pitying, control-freak, not-trusting-in-God side of my personality had been kicked into overdrive by this situation, and I was so frustrated about it all that I wanted to just forget the whole thing and go pout somewhere. At some point it did briefly occur to me that perhaps I should turn to God in calm trust that this was part of his plan and he’d lead me where I needed to go, but that thought was quickly drown out with more important concerns like, “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO HAVE A PRODUCTIVE ADORATION WITHOUT MY LIST?!” (That is what John Paul II emphasized in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, right? That Adoration of the Eucharist is supposed to be productive?)

Anyway, when we arrived at the church my heart softened a bit. Outside the chapel was a write-on/wipe-off board where people could list their prayer intentions, and just reading through all the things that other people were praying for helped put it all in perspective. I added my own note to the board and was about to head into the little chapel when something else caught my eye: the schedule of people who had signed up to sit with the Blessed Sacrament while it was exposed for Adoration.

I’d known about this, but until I saw that schedule I’d forgotten that the consecrated Host is never left alone, so in order to offer Adoration a church has to make sure that at least one person will be there at all times. I was amazed as I looked at the schedule for the 24 hours of Adoration: there were names next to the slots for the 1:00am – 2:00am hour, the 2:00am – 3:00am hour, the 3:00am – 4:00am hour, and so on. It was so touching to see all these people who were willing to get out of their beds in the middle of the night and go sit with the Lord. It reminded me of why I think of churches as places of hope.

When I walked into the silent chapel, I saw the man who was scheduled to sit with the Blessed Sacrament that hour sitting in the back row. I noticed that he wasn’t reading or doing anything. He was just sitting quietly. I took a seat and immediately set about the task of trying to mentally review my forgotten list. But it wouldn’t work. I just couldn’t. It was like my mind was being blocked from doing any efficient, analytical thinking. I am the type of person who always has about a million different trains of thought running through my head, and for the first time in a long while, all my scattered thoughts were silenced. My mind was quiet. The only thing I felt like doing — really, the only thing I could do — was bask in feelings of overwhelming appreciation of God’s presence.

I knew, with absolute certainty, that I was not meant to bring a list. I wouldn’t have looked at it even if I’d had it.

For the longest time all I could do was offer prayers of thanksgiving and adoration. I didn’t feel like I needed anything anymore. The only thing I needed at that moment was to give God as much love and gratitude as possible. (I’ve gone back and forth a few times about whether or not to mention this next part because it sounds kind of odd, but here it is anyway…) After a while I felt strongly drawn to pray for a specific person. Here’s the crazy part: it’s someone whom I never knew, who was not a believer, and who died in 2005. The only connection I had to her was that I read her blog a few times. But I spent the rest of my time at Adoration praying for her soul.

When I left the Adoration chapel, I felt lighter. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. My only concern was how I was going to do this more often. Later in the evening I was still marveling at how powerful the draw had been to spend most of my time in silent appreciation, to just be, and then I checked comments to my post about taking a list to Adoration. I was amazed as I read through others’ experiences with this devotion.

Patty wrote:

It seems that whenever I go to adoration with something in mind to do (reading, journaling, decision-making, etc.) I end up just being quiet with Jesus, because that’s what I really needed–some quiet and just to BE and not DO, because that’s all Jesus wants is just plain old ME, and turns out what I needed most was Him.

I always leave peaceful. You’re going to love Adoration, I’m sure of it.

Anne Marie wrote:

Adoration: My favorite devotion. Period. Like spending time with, well, GOD. I’ve been known to bail out of a particularly difficult day for a few hours to run up to the perpetual Adoration chapel an hour away from us just to get some perspective before returning to the fray…Perspective, yes, that’s what’s needed, perspective. Adoration is just the ticket.

Laura wrote:

Adoration is like a drug. Once you get a taste of it, you need to keep going back for more….I cannot even begin to expound on the graces that have come to our family because of our commitment to adoration. Give it a try and you will find yourself desiring it more and more!

Elizabeth wrote:

You might only have the opportunity to go monthly, but it will quickly become a much-anticipated ritual for you…I’m still not entirely sure what I should be doing in that first 40 minutes….but there is something undeniably moving about being in a still church with others in the presence of God…The best way I can describe it is that, short of attending daily Mass…it’s the next best thing to keeping that Sunday feeling all week long. You are in the presence of a miracle.

Tausign wrote:

If you find yourself oozing out ‘Praise and Adoration’ do NOT stop, keep it up as that is the highest form [of prayer]…I’m sure you had a blessed time this evening. The Lord falls over those who spend time with Him.

Carol wrote:

I’ve only been to Adoration twice, but that was more than enough for me to get “hooked” on it!…I’ve noticed that while I take things along with me to do, in the end I tend to just fall silent and “be” there.

I can’t remember where I read this recently but there was a little, old man who would spend hours and hours on end in Adoration. He was asked once what on earth he was doing in there for all that time and he replied to the effect of – “I look at Jesus and He looks at me and we are happy together.”

Ashleyrae wrote:

Adoration will bring a certain kind of peace to you life…What I found out the first few times I went was that it’s ok to just not do anything, to just be still. I think the Lord will guide you in your Adoration prayers. You may find yourself coming with a certain prayer in mind or with a book or journal and then God says, “I’d rather you do it my way.” Funny how His way always gives you exactly what you need.

Those are just some of the comments where others shared their experiences with Adoration. What struck me all weekend as I watched these comments roll in is how precisely they pinpointed what had happened. It was uncanny to see how closely my experience of Adoration matched that of others. “Do these people have crystal balls or something?” I joked to my husband at one point.

So, back to the original subject, I don’t really know what to make of the Adoration List. I still think it’s a good idea and plan to keep that sheet of paper out in my kitchen. Maybe I’ll try to take it with me again next month. All I know is that going to Adoration was like a spiritual cleansing, that even though I forgot my list and didn’t think about solutions for any of my worries and the only active praying I did was for a deceased person whom I never met…I walked out of the chapel knowing that God had given me what I needed. I didn’t (and still don’t) know what the exact solutions are to any of my little problems…but I don’t feel as much like I need to know. I’m starting to think that maybe all I need is more quiet time in front of the Lord.

41 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    The thing about the Adoration List is that it kept you sane while you made it — helping you to let go of things at a given moment, and GOD knows what’s on that list! You don’t need to bring it there in order for him to work on it. You just need to do what you are doing which is to let go at each moment and then go adore him. So I’d say keep making the list and keep forgetting it. I’d bet heavily that in say three months things on the top of the list will be gone without you ever having to “take” the list to adoration. ; ) Jane M

  2. Kelly @ Love Well

    I love how God interrupts our plans. It’s always with our best interest at heart, if we would only see if that way.

    As usual, this post will resonate in my heart this week, Jen.

  3. happy appy wife

    I wonder, Are the building (church) and presence of the Eucharist necessary for Adoration?

    Or, can I just walk up into the mountains and sit by a stream, and Adore God there?

  4. Anonymous

    Yes, Jen, I so agree with your thoughts, and the comments of your readers.

    Adoration is the high point of my week. (Mass comes in second, only because I can’t relax during Mass. I am holding little ones, keeping a sharp eye on older ones, after having struggled to get all 8 of us up and out of the house on time. Receiving Christ in the Eucharist is so awesome, but as Kimberly Hahn says, I feel I’ve used up all the graces from Mass just helping the little ones get through Mass. In a few years I will be able to relax and focus.)

    So right now, because I go to adoration ALONE, or with an older child, it is like a retreat to me.
    Last November, because I had children in sports, I was able to attend 4x a week! What joy I felt! Nowadays, I can only attend 1x a week, and I feel deprived.

    My husband has even been known to lay our checkbook in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and tell Jesus that there are so many bills to pay and so many things we need, but that we realize that our money is His money and how would He like us to spend it?

    Should we spend $$$ getting the old car fixed, or buy something newer?

    Should we purchase a used camper so we can take our 6 kiddos on an inexpensive vacation or should we buy a much needed new hot water heater?

    My husband always seems to know what to do after adoration.

    I can now see why Archbishop Sheen, Pope JP II, and many others spend an hour in adoration each day.

  5. Tune

    Her name is Jessica, isn’t it? One of my friend pointed me to your post about her and I was dumbfounded when I read through it. Thank you again for sharing your story. It brings perspective. Perspective comes from two Latin words: per+spectare, meaning: to look through. To look through our problem and see what God is trying to tell us. Once again, thank you!

  6. foursure

    The very first time I went to adoration I walked into the room and my heart started to beat a little more noticably, and the only thoughts running through my head were “Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you” as my soul responded to the amazing honor of being in the presence of our lord. I spent nearly an hour with that thought.

    I’m so glad you were blessed with a wonderful experience.

  7. elizabeth

    You are so brilliant. I admire your spiritual maturity. I hope I make it to that point some day. And hysterical! I should have been able to see that coming a mile away — forgetting the list.

    I’m so happy to hear how much you loved Adoration. If only you could find a church or parish with weekly Adoration.

  8. Abigail

    Beautiful post! The thing I love most about Adoration is the clarity I receive when I drop all my daily cares & “to do” worries for a few moments and just bask in the beauty of that sacrament.

    This is my favorite quote about the “Adoration” experience from Blessed Francisco Marto of Fatima (the little boy who saw our Lady of Fatima with his sister and cousin)

    “The day before [Francisco] died, he said to me: “Look! I am very ill; it won’t be long now before I go to Heaven.”
    “The listend to this. WHen you’re there, don’t forget to pray a great deal for sinners, for the Holy Father, for me and for Jacinta.”
    “Yes, I’ll pray. But look, you’d better ask Jacinta to pray for these things instead, because I’m afraid I’ll forget when I see Our Lord. And the, more than anything else I want to console Him.”

    I just love that image of two little girls so serious in their promise to pray for pray for sinners. Meanwhile, the little boy says, “you better go ask my sister to do that task” because I’m probably going to forget about everything when I finally meet Jesus face to face. That heavenly vision is going to be so overwhelming, I’m not going to remember to ask Jesus for anything else!

    Hope you keep going to Adoration!

  9. WSG

    I have a couple ideas.

    1. Why don’t you post your adoration list on your blog so we readers can pray for your intentions?

    2. Why don’t you keep an adoration journal in a little book instead of a list, so you can follow up on how you’ve made progress on the things you’re praying about and write down your reflections too? Plus, it’s harder to misplace a book than a piece of paper (I’m just sayin’).

  10. Kevin

    Jen, if I could offer a little advice, just call it a list. Don’t call it an Adoration List, as if that’s the only place for you to bring your worries and concerns to prayer.

    I’m sure God wants you to share your worries and concerns with Him – not because He doesn’t know what they are, but because He loves you, and wants you to share them with Him.

    In my experience, adoration is a time to just be with Jesus. My feeling about whether it’s productive or not depends on the answer to the question, “Who’s agenda are we following here? Mine or God’s?”

    If you want to test whether your time in adoration has been productive, see whether you have become a more loving person. If you have, then God has accomplished what he wanted to in your time of adoration.

  11. Patty Arnold

    Awesome!

  12. Laura

    I am so happy that you were so moved by your experience. God cannot be outdone in His generosity. The hour you spent will be nothing compared to what He will do for you. I hope that you get a chance to go often. You might be surprised at how opportunities will “pop” up! God Bless!

  13. coffeemom

    Adoration is the best hour of the week, except of course, for the hour(s) of the mass itself. No kidding. For me, a wildly distractable, impatient and control freak kind of gal…it is the anchor of my week. We started going to adoration weekly about 9 years ago…and still it is the one appt that is (literally) sacred, and it takes a SICK kid or crisis to miss. You’ll be so glad for this time.

    Over the years it has brought answers and consolation, great deepening of faith…even when it feels yes, distracted or dry…But usually it feels like coming home, or a long drink…it is the best thing. Ever. (except communion itself).
    God bless you. I am a cradle catholic, and we LOVE your blog and your honesty (and your links!).

  14. Kate

    Isn’t it funny how often we assume that we need to dump off stuff every time we come before the Lord in prayer. We right away have the tendency to think about unloading, which of course He wants us to do! However, I have found that Adoration is my perfect time to actually shut-up and LISTEN for a change. As I go through my day I offer up things to God and unload to Him; when I step into Adoration it is just for that – to bask in His Presence in praise and adoration.

    A quick and easy way I stay focused is by following an old “formula prayer” I learned a long time ago called “ACTS”
    A-Adoration
    C-Contrition
    T-Thanksgiving
    S-Supplication

    It helps me stay focused on the “order of things” when I pray. When I start my prayers before The Blessed Sacrament I find, with practice and patience, that I may not move past the first or second part. And that’s ok. Too often I have a “to-do” list for God, and when I have so much running in my little mind this simple “formula” opens up the doors for open-minded praise.

    I can not encourage you enough to continue going no matter what else you have on your plate! (ahem, take my advice, I’m not using it) Adoration is perhaps the most amazing gift we have besides actually receiving Him, as He allows us to be physically in His Presence. Good Luck.

  15. Anonymous

    Jennifer,
    Precisely, my Dear. I left a comment to your other post but it got lost. I wrote that, by all means, you should take your list but I expected that you wouldn’t want it to interrupt your time with Our Lord. Instead, I just hoped that you would BASK in His Presence. Yes, I used the word “Bask”. Perfect that you forgot that list. But I would say, that was DIVINE INTERVENTION. You have inspired me to get back into the habit of keeping Jesus company in the tabernacle if formal Adoration isn’t offered.

    Thanks,
    Beth

  16. Anna

    Jen,

    You mentioned before that you daily pray something loosely based on the Jesuit/Ignatian Examen. I try to pray the Examen every night before bed. The kinds of things that you put on your Adoration list (kids watching too much TV? eating healthy enough?) are all things that I try to review during the Examen. That way I can take a look at which side of the coin I tried that day, how did it work out, what kind of mood was I when I made the decision, was the decision based on love or on something else, what other factors affected things, etc. Each day I can look at it; often I don’t get answers about the right path right away. Over time, patterns emerge that help me see things clearer.

    God bless.

  17. lyrl

    It’s really neat to see how this experience at Adoration was different from your last experience.

    It seems like the Presence of the Eucharist is not just “there”, but it’s part of a relationship expressed through Church rituals. For those who have not yet built that relationship, the Eucharist is much closer to the physicalities of bread and wine than to the Presence.

  18. Tausign

    “Do these people have crystal balls or something?” I joked to my husband at one point.

    Welcome to the cult of Eucharistic Adorers. (That’s the Churches term, not mine.)

    I had hoped that you would find the prayer experience compelling and lose interest in your list. But to FORGET THE LIST!…yes, that was Divine intervention. (I was eating when I read it and nearly choked.) And to experience the call to pray for a stranger was to move deeply into the mystery of ‘the mystical body of Christ’.

    Your list is very important, don’t get me wrong. But your posts and your commenters response has triggered such a response in me (a longtime adorer)that I am writing TWO posts to address this subject at my own blog.

    As I said (and meant as a compliment) this blog is becoming a spiritual soap opera to me.

  19. Ouiz

    As always, your posts leave me inspired and amazed. Thank you so much for this!

  20. Shannon

    For a wonderful book on how to practice the Ignatian Examen, try “Sleeping with Bread” by Matt and Dennis Linn. It gets right to the heart of the matter, and you can do it with kids as well.

  21. Jennifer F.

    It’s really neat to see how this experience at Adoration was different from your last experience.

    You know, I had forgotten all about that until after I wrote the first post. I guess since “surprise Adoration” isn’t the norm, I hadn’t mentally categorized it as “going to Adoration.”

    It seems like the Presence of the Eucharist is not just “there”, but it’s part of a relationship expressed through Church rituals.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this. What you suggest is a possibility, and I would agree with it in a certain sense — after all, how could I feel zero one time and then have the presence of God hit me over the head like a ton of bricks the next time?

    I think that it comes down to two things: sin and faith.

    With that first impromptu Adoration, I’d never been to Confession and hadn’t even spent much time seeking to understand the gravity of my sins. I don’t think I’d even put much effort into asking for forgiveness at all (though I can’t remember for sure). I think that it’s possible that there was a distinct Presence there, but that I missed it because I blocked it out with a thick layer of sin (broadly defined — I don’t mean like awful stuff or anything, just general unwillingness to take a hard look at the things I did that separated me from God). Because, I can’t remember if I mentioned it in that last post, but most of the other people (few who were cradle Catholics) were powerfully moved that day.

    The second thing is faith. In the past year or so I’ve become aware of the importance of faith and trust, i.e. you can believe truths about God and the sacraments on a rational, intellectual level, but the more pure faith and trust you have, the more you open a channel for God’s grace to flow. Now, I realize that that kind of sounds like “seeing what you want to see,” and I’m not even sure I can explain why it’s different. All I know is that the more I have cultivated a disposition of faith and trust in the spiritual things that I came to accept on an intellectual level, the more I began to “get” them, and the more powerfully they worked in my life. I know that when I had doubts about the Eucharist back then, as I did that day at the RCIA retreat, I very much approached it with a “you first,” “I don’t have faith — do something about this now, God!” sort of attitude.

    So…all that is to say…I think my theory would be that the Presence was there at Adoration the first time, but because of an abundance of sin and a lack of faith and trust, I was not in a disposition where I could have felt it. Basically, I blocked out God (as I’d done in different ways all my life).

    Does any of that make sense?

  22. ashleyrae

    Jen, I was so excited to read your post about Adoration. It kind of gave me goosebumps when I realized that you were detailing experiences that I wrote about in your comments section. (And you forgot the note and just wanted to pout about it – definitely a reaction I would have in the same situation! Thank goodness for husbands.) I guess reading your post just made it very clear to me how we are all connected in the Body of Christ, especially through prayer and Adoration. I hope you keep writing about your monthly Adoration experiences.

  23. Enoch

    I know that this was very important to you, but adoration, and many other man-made rituals, are not scripturally based at all. Of course, I’m sure you’ve heard people tell you this before, but I’m telling you that all denominations (including nondenominational, ironically) are a perversion of God’s Word.

    For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

    And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

    For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

    Revelation 18:3-5 (King James Version)

    Come out of her.

  24. Tausign

    lyrl said…It seems like the Presence of the Eucharist is not just “there”, but it’s part of a relationship expressed through Church rituals.

    Jen replied…What you suggest is a possibility, and I would agree with it in a certain sense — after all, how could I feel zero one time and then have the presence of God hit me over the head like a ton of bricks the next time?

    TIME OUT! Tausign is having a knee jerk reaction here. I take ‘lyrls’ comment as an affirmation of the Real Presence, with a nuanced allusion to our perception or lack of perception (i.e. feelings) regarding Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist possibly stirred by ritual worship.

    Jen, please don’t open up a can of worms. Christ is truly present, feelings notwithstanding, and so is His graceful action and effect. The matter of our experience of this Presence through ‘feelings’ are actually determined solely by God as gift. Thus, Jen the newbee, is showered with overflowing Love by God to bring about spiritual development. Mother Teresa, the old timer, is denied the feelings of God’s Presence in order to bring about her spiritual development. In both cases God is present and effective.

    Enjoy God’s gift of his Presence, but do not become addicted to the feelings associated with last Friday night. BTW, the exact same applies to Holy Communion.

  25. Maureen

    Enoch, there’s nothing in Scripture about visiting people’s blogs and leaving comments. It’s a man-made ritual, so you’d better stop it. Right now.

    More seriously, you are trying to suppress the actions of the Holy Spirit, just because you don’t like how the Spirit is moving or where. That’s sad.

    Finally, you should really do some scripture study and learn about the development of Christian doctrine and prayer practice, since you apparently are Christian. You might look into, say, the showbread in the Temple (better translated as “presence bread”) as a foreshadowing of the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper, which as a Christian I hope you believe in.

    But why be that complicated? The whole idea behind adoration is very simple. The Lord asked the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Could you not spend one hour with me?”

    So we do. How very unscriptural and un-Christian of us. And this is what you want us to stop?

    We have chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from us.

  26. Maureen

    “I wonder, Are the building (church) and presence of the Eucharist necessary for Adoration?

    Or, can I just walk up into the mountains and sit by a stream, and Adore God there?”

    Well, there’s adoration and Adoration. Certainly you can contemplate God anywhere. “Be still and know that I am God” is as good a command now as when God gave it first. But there are special fruits to be had from God’s Real Presence, just as there are special fruits to be had from praying outside a church. Different people are drawn to different things, and different people have different needs and capabilities. What’s most important is to pray and listen to God; how you do it is less important.

    (Assuming you’re already fulfilling your basic worship duties, like going to church on Sunday. We all need a well balanced God diet.) 🙂

  27. Enoch

    Dear Maureen,

    I don’t want any of you to stop loving the Lord, but I do want you to not be fooled. Your justification for the adoration ritual by trying to say that posting comments is a ritual does not make sense. I know that you probably can’t see what I mean by what I say, and I understand this. How can I expect you to know if you haven’t seen? If you can not see the corruption within the orthodox churches today, or the politics and money behind them even, then what I tell you will never make sense. What do you think of Paul? Martin Luther? John Wesley? Peter Cartwright? William Branham? All great men of God, and they all preached against the corruption that was the mainstream church (for each respective age, including William Branham in this Laodecian age).

    As far as me posting here goes, I stumbled upon it just recently while I was surfing through random blogs.

    I’m not here to start a fight or hurt anyone’s feelings, so if I do, I’m sorry.

    If you want anymore info on any of this, just email me at saveshreveport@gmail.com If anything, you can at least learn about it, even if you don’t believe it.

    God Bless

  28. nicole

    Just making the list makes you aware of things that you need to give to prayer. Whether or not you take it with you, you have recognizezd something and given it thought for the amount of time it took to write it down. As you do this more often, perhaps you will find you are not writing down some things any more. I love Adoration, although I don’t go as often as I could. I hope you get to experience it a lot more.

  29. elizabeth

    enoch — I’m no apologist. I’ve only recently come back to the (One True) Church after many years away, and I was rather poorly catechized, but I can tell you this (in the kindest but plainest way I know how):

    Catholics don’t care whether something is scripturally based. We really just don’t care.

    I know that is the absolute worst insult one Protestant can throw at another, but it is completely wasted on Catholic blogs.

    One of the greatest benefits of being Catholic (other than belonging to the Church that Christ himself founded) is that Catholics (well, the earliest Christians) decided was was going into the Bible, what would be left out, and (most importantly) when and how to pray in an extra-scriptural way. Scripture is fabulous, and it’s the backbone of the Catholic faith. But we’ve got even more than that! It’s value-added Scripture. Scripture Plus!

    I don’t say this as a Catholic who is trying to convert anyone. There are noble Christians of all stripes and flavors. I do not mean to diminish your faith or your church/denomination. But, if you want to use theological “logic” in arguing a point with a Catholic, saying something is scripturally based carries little truck with us.

  30. Thomas

    Elizabeth,

    I understand what you’re saying, and you’re write, but as an ex-Protestant convert I cringe at a few of your expressions.

    Saying something is scripturally based does carry lots of “truck” with Catholics. I think you meant to say “not Scripturally based.”

    Regardless, your point remains. It does not bother Catholics if some religious belief or practice of ours is not explictly instructed upon in the Bible. We are not so concerned with whether things are Biblical.

    We are concerned with whether or not things are Christian Truth. All that the Scriptures teach is Christian Truth, of course, but not all Christian Truth is taught in the Bible.

    Christianity is not a book-based religion, it is a Church-based religion. Jesus sent His Apostles to build a Church, not to write a book. The Holy Spirit inspired them to write books and letters to help them accomplish that, but the point was the Church, not the Book.

  31. elizabeth

    Let me edit that last sentence:

    Saying something is NOT scripturally based carries little truck with us.

    (Of course, that’s assuming it is a prayer/practice/ritual/piece of liturgy that has been decreed by the Church.)

    I’m sure there are many others who could explain this better than I.

  32. elizabeth

    Thomas — I did just edit myself! And thank you for saying it far more eloquently than I did.

  33. Enoch

    Thank you Elizabeth and Thomas for trying to clear things up for me, but what I said still stands.

    Before I go on, I want you all to know that I belong to no denomination/creed/ or dogma. I believe in the Bible in it’s entirety and I go to a very small church that believes this too. But as history will show you, just because your church is small doesn’t mean one is wrong…

    Both of you agreed with me on not caring whether something is not scripturally based or not, but who do you think created these prayers/practices/rituals/pieces of liturgy? Lord Jesus Christ? Perhaps a bishop? The pope himself?

    I think it was Maureen who accused me of not wanting you to think on Christ, but guess what? I do, and what’s more is that you should think on Christ everyday, all the time, not just during this one hour set aside for him. As for the pope, the one who is called the High-Priest, if you’ll open your Bibles to Hebrews it states that Jesus Christ is the LAST High Priest forever and ever. You know why? Because JESUS ISN’T STILL ON THE CROSS, HE IS ALIVE!

    I don’t know why I came across this blog in the first place, and this will be my last post here so don’t bother responding unless you really feel like it. I genuinely want you to get this stuff though, I’m not here to do apologetic junk. How would that help you as a Christian? So you could trust some man’s reasoning on why God is real, or why the Catholic church is wrong? No. Everything I have told you will take God’s Holy Spirit to discern. For in the last days it shall be like the days of Noah: few will get on the Ark as his Bride. If you’re tired of eating chicken food because your soul is of an Eagle’s, then come out of her! The answer is not in some dogma/ritual/denomination, it is in Lord Jesus Christ (Not MARY!). He is our intercessor on the thrown, not Mary! You also don’t need confession to repent, did you know this?

    In closing, thanks again for those of you who tried clear things up for me.

    On a final note, if you’ll look back a little in history (and I don’t mean looking in the catholic encyclopedia) then you’ll see that the Nicene Council were the ones that started catholicism, not Peter or anyone else.

    God Bless

  34. Anne Marie

    Enoch:

    Minor point of clairification.

    Jesus not Peter or the Council at Nicea started the Catholic Church, and he is the one who maintains the Church. To fight the church is to fight God himself.

    I’m afraid you have been misinformed as to the nature of the Church.

    Check out Steve Ray’s web site http://www.catholic-convert.com/ or material from Scott Hahn or Peter Kreft or Marcus Grodi for a scriptural discussion of the Church from a Protestant perspective.

    Keep searching for the truth becasue the truth will set you free.

  35. Anonymous

    Enoch,

    “What do you think of Paul? Martin Luther? John Wesley? Peter Cartwright? William Branham? All great men of God, and they all preached against the corruption that was the mainstream church (for each respective age, including William Branham in this Laodecian age)”

    With the exception of Saint Paul, the other men all started their own churches or movements–this is not reform but schism. The test of a saint is that he will bring renewal and reform within the Church, such as Saint Francis or Saint Catherine of Sienna. It’s obvious you don’t believe in creeds and dogmas (which you disparagingly place alongside with rituals (as if there’s something wrong with rituals?!)) since these men all believed in wildly different things. If you believe these are all men of God (whatever that means) you should have picked one and joined their church.

    “For in the last days it shall be like the days of Noah: few will get on the Ark as his Bride.”

    Exactly. And the Catholic Church is His Bride so climb aboard!!!

    Hannah
    hana10134@yahoo.com

  36. Jennifer F.

    Tune – yes, her name was Jessica. She blogged by the name cancerbaby (her blog was “Cancer, Baby”). BTW, I was mistaken in my post — she passed away in 2006, not 2005.

    Anyway, I highlighted some of her most stunning posts here if anyone else has any interest. I still get choked up every time I think about it.

  37. Tausign

    Jen, your experience of the desire to pray for Jessica is a perfect illustration of the intruction that ‘God calls man first to pray-then we respond.’ [CCC 2567}

    While we ‘feel’ an urge to pray and beg God for Mercy on that soul, we later find out that it was God who was ‘begging’ us to pray for that soul. Now what does that say about the love of God for that soul?

  38. Tune

    Dear Enoch,

    I think the best way for your problem with the church(es)is: instead of talking about the truth, let us all talk to The Truth (John 14:6). I hope that you will be edified by reading this blog. Keep that Holy Spirit roaming your heart and your mind. Only then, you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). Keep in mind that we are in this journey of faith together. It will make Jesus sad that His prayer, “so that they may become one” (John 17:22), is not being responded by us, His follower. Again, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” as St. Jerome put it nicely.

    With that in mind, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3.23) All man, sinned, except Jesus (and if you believe in the truth, Mary). That is you… and me, Enoch. The Catholic Church claims that she (the Church) is holy, because she is His, and not because of the righteousness of the individuals in it. Again, Church is supposedly be “hospitals for sinners, not a hotel for saints.”

    So, the point is… “Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12. I hope that this Word of God resonates into your life… And my life too, for I am still a sinner and trying my best to reach that crown of glory (1 Cor. 9:25) that God has provided at the end of our life here on earth. As St. Peter says it nicely, “So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12.)

    Lastly,
    I don’t know why I came across this blog in the first place, and this will be my last post here so don’t bother responding unless you really feel like it.

    I think it is the Holy Spirit calling you into a deeper relationship with Him. To learn and to know more about the faith that you have been holding on to and critically think through what you believe in the first place so that John 8.32 be manifested into your faith life.

  39. Tune

    Oh! And what a beautiful name Enoch is… For “Enoch walked with God. Then he vanished because God took him” (Gen. 5.24)! The first man to be assumed to heaven because he walked with God. And certainly not the last (Mary).

  40. Andrea

    I loved reading this. Just the reminder I needed.
    P.S. How did you Trademark the “Things not going your way” thingy? 😉 Brilliant. 🙂

  41. elizabeth

    Jen — I used to read cancerbaby, too. It’s amazing that she was the woman you were thinking about during Adoration. I think of her often, too.

    I have an Adoration update as well:

    I missed Adoration this week for the first time since I started attending, which was in January. While that may not seem like a long time, it has become a much-anticipated time of the week for me, and it’s not easy to make time for it, given our household schedule. So it’s both something I look forward to as well as a personal victory in time-management.

    Well, after missing it this Wednesday, I had a rough time at Mass today. I couldn’t settle in and concentrate. It might have been the extremely naughty toddler, but I’ve gotten much better at tuning out her fidgeting. I just couldn’t get into “Mass mode” today and I think it’s because it had just been too long since the previous Sunday. I need more-frequent reminders to turn my attentions to God. This realization will probably be a turning point in my path back to the Church: Realizing I’m not a “Sunday only” Catholic and that to fully follow this faith, I need to take advantage of all the wonderful prayers and opportunities to pray that I’ve been given. Maybe I should start to research LOTH. Until now I’ve considered that a “hardcore” practice that I may or may never feel called to do, but now I think it might have a place in my life.

    And it’s all because of Adoration.

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