By Joyce Voss
It is new. It is beautiful. It is an invitation.
As we march through life, we realize that there is an inner thirst in us, a longing, for a special relationship with the Lord. Our new chapel provides a place for that to grow.
About a year ago, I started making visits to an adoration chapel in another parish. I was not quite sure how I would spend my time. I brought my rosary, some spiritual reading and my concerns. What I did not realize was that the Lord might have some ideas about my visit, too. I had to learn to “relax in the Lord.”
As my visits continued, I was developing a deeper friendship. In sharing my burdens, my worries plus my joys, I began to appreciate the love the Lord held out to me. He really did want to know my thoughts. Nothing was off limits in our “talk.” Yes, nothing…
Over time the most marvelous thing started to occur. I found I could begin to let go. When I shared the happenings in my life, immediate answers often were not forthcoming, but something else was. By confiding in the Lord, He lightened my load of worry. I learned that he loved and cared for me and was always with me. Slowly relief began to seep into my soul. Maybe I did not have all the answers but now I had help. Another change was my awareness of Him throughout my day. I found myself asking for help in a sticky situation. I said thank you when I had a near miss, or was delightfully surprised. In a loving relationship those responses come easily.
I found myself returning to the chapel, to this intimate space, with more questions, but also with gratitude for His care. I learned to listen more. It did not all happen in one visit. It was more like a new door being opened. I was invited in to discover. Appreciation of how much the Lord loved me, indeed loves us, is one of the greatest rewards. When I began to develop that “attitude of gratitude” and really began to see how He guides me, if I listen; I was changed. I truly became in awe of the power of God.
A visit has no specific agenda. It is a time of sharing and quiet with a friend. Just as conversations with friends are not always the same, the time spent in the chapel can vary. Whatever the specific outcome of an individual visit is, the important thing is just being there. Jesus does not rely on just how we feel, but rather what are our needs.
The chapel has many meditative helps. The beautiful stain glass window portraying the Consecration, an image of Our Lady, the Sacred Heart of the Lord, St. Michael in Battle, and a multi-faceted mural of the coming of the kingdom surround you as you dwell in prayer.
Consider yourself invited. Take a peek. Stay for a few minutes. The next time, stay a bit longer. If He is what you seek, get to know Him better. I found a great deal of love, direction, and peace in my visits. I do believe you may find what you seek, by opening that door, too.
The chapel is available daily. Entrance instructions are available at the Office.