Saturday, August 5, 2017

Living at the Core 8: Looping Back

In life, we often discover rhythms and routines that work for our lives but for different reasons they might slip away over time. However, living at the core means we often loop back to them - whispers and reminders of how beneficial they were, an invitation to reincorporate into our lives.

In my early 20s I was a wife and mom of a 1 year old and in a master's program to obtain my initial teaching license. Though I cannot remember at what point I started, I had an early morning hour for Adoration each week. When I moved out of town for my first year teaching, I did not begin Adoration at my new parish.

During the next summer I did participate in Adoration in my husband's rural Mexican community where we traveled from house to house in procession with a Monstrance over a span of days where we prayed together at different houses in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

About 3 years later as I walked around the ministry fair in the second community where I taught, I noticed information about Adoration and decided to begin again. I do not remember the details other than that I somehow mixed up the time and sat in the empty church for an hour before it was time for Adoration. Though I do not fully remember why, I never went back - for one or more reasons I put obstacles up, blocking me from reincorporating Adoration into my weekly routines and continued on with my busy life as a wife, mom and teacher.

About 6 years later during Christmas break, living back in the community where I originally had a consistent weekly Adoration, I went to daily Mass one morning and afterwards the priest exposed the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration. The style was different than what I had been used to as he led the group in repeating phrases after him. To my surprise, somewhere along the way, tears started to flow down my cheeks and I became self conscious in the small daily Mass chapel with others close by. At the time I could not quite explain what was happening. Now, I can see it in the overall context of my life as Jesus calling me back to intimacy with him, telling me to slow down, to make space for him, to prioritize Adoration once again in my life. He was letting me know it was long overdue for me to have a Christ-centered life.

Only, though I recognized the power in the experience, it still took me 6 more months to recognize that going to Adoration would be a part of my core. It has been about 2 years since I reincorporated  Adoration (at least weekly) back into my life and view it as one of the two non-negotiables alongside regular attendance at daily Mass. Along the way I recognized that the Eucharist is the most powerful form of self care.

This concept of recognizing the power and beauty of an element of life but then having it slip away or weave in and out of my life before finally settling in to a regular routine with a higher level of commitment to establish and maintain the integration has also occurred in other areas in my faith life, such as reading daily Scriptures and praying the Rosary, as well as what helps me to be more efficient at work and what helps to make our life at home feel like it is running smoothly.

Living at the core means paying attention to the invitations that come again and again, even if separated by spans of multiple years in between, and then making a choice to say yes even if it takes some trial and error in order to figure out how to make the aspect a regular part of our life throughout different phases and adjustments. It means noticing when our lives seem to loop back to a practice or routine that brought peace in the past and then recognizing that we can either put up obstacles to prevent allowing that peace into our lives or we can allow it in and then guard and protect it as we find solutions to all of the excuses that come to mind that might rob us of what our soul is longing for.

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