Strange enough, until recently, I could not tell you what the tabernacle in my chapel looks like, even though I take the time to gaze upon it each morning and each evening. What am I looking at? What am I seeing? Perhaps the better question is whom do I meet there?
My love for Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament began in the Seminary and continued through my pastoral and chancery years. It has, like a fine wine, become better with age. Almost all decisions, actions, homilies, and direction for my service to the Church as Bishop takes place there.
In this meeting with Christ all the problems of the world make sense to me. It is here that I am both consoled and challenged. I am unafraid of any difficulty here, and chaos is manageable by the time spent in adoration.
Sometimes I must admit, I want to avoid this scheduled meeting. I want to avoid hearing what I don’t want to hear. Other times I long for this encounter. Some days the time seems to pass so slowly, at others too quickly. This is prayer.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes prayer as a “battle”. This is a good way to describe it. But what one “battles” is not God, nor is it ourselves. Instead we battle our self-centered, self-satisfied, and self-serving tendencies. The victory is letting God have His way (not ours) with us: “thy will be done.”
Whether in the quiet of our own home, or before the Blessed Sacrament in Church, we can enter the “battle” of prayer in a way that can truly sustain us in our relationship with God. The key is to never be defeated by discouragement, distraction or apathy.
I hope that our Lord will give each of us the courage to enter more deeply into a life of prayer. I also hope that each of us, as we gaze upon the face of Christ hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, may find in our life of prayer a way that is truly beneficial, and which, like good wine, can only get better with age.
+ Bishop Gregory Mansour
Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn
(Reprinted with permission.)