Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us

The National Catholic Register just published an article about the link between Eucharistic Adoration and vocations to the priesthood.

Around the country, similar anecdotal evidence seems to point to a trend: Where Eucharistic adoration goes, vocations follow.

According to Bishop Hermann, once adoration was established at Incarnate Word, a strong desire took hold among his parishioners. They wanted to pray specifically for vocations. “The parish was excited, and I was relieved,” he recalled for the Register. “We now had something that could help foster vocations. We found the help that was always there — Our Lord.”

I attribute my own decision to go to the seminary to regular Eucharistic adoration. Many St. Patrick's seminarians have pledged to spend at least thirty minutes of their personal prayer time praying for more vocations. When I first started as a Catholic (it will be four years on March 26) I confess I wasn't sure how to pray. Is it just a matter of reading things out of the prayer book? Will I be overwhelmed with a flood of tears and sensible consolations like we read in many lives of the saints? I can't say either have ever happened to me. But keep in mind that the purpose of prayer isn't to gain those sensible consolations - they depend entirely on the generosity of the good God. We pray to grow closer to Him. He Himself is our consolation and end.

Most of the time my mind is so crowded with distractions that I need a prayer book to help me focus. Usually by the last fifteen minutes of a Holy Hour, I'm recollected enough to just be quiet and still with the Lord. As is the case with human friends or loved ones, sometimes words aren't necessary. It's enough to just be there and keep watch. But I highly recommend beginning the practice of making a Holy Hour with the Blessed Sacrament every day if you can. In my old job I usually worked from 1 pm to 10 pm, which allowed me to both go to daily Mass and do a Holy Hour before clocking on. Go to Him and ask the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers for the harvest. Either way you'll be doing much good. Who knows - you might be the answer to your own prayer :)

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