Have you ever wondered why people can talk endlessly about morality, values, church, worship, prayer, and even “God," etc., etc., etc., but are uncomfortable talking about “Jesus"? The reason for this is that Jesus is where the “rubber meets the road." He is what makes the transcendent God present in the world. He is the “word," the “light of the world." It is easy for most people to talk of religion or “God” but hard for them to talk about Jesus, because He is the point at which those two meet. Without Jesus Christ, man is relatively “safe” from God.
As a result “Jesus” is an uncomfortable name for people to say. That Christ is present is an uncomfortable suggestion. That Christ is present physically as a tiny communion host, sitting on a stone altar in your local church… more uncomfortable still. Uncomfortable, but oh so simple, clear, shocking, and utterly unabashed.
This brings us back to the power of Eucharistic Adoration, specifically for the sick soul of modern man. Like a wound that needs to be cauterized by fire or purified by alcohol, our hearts need to be brought where they are afraid to go. They need to be faced with the real fear and peril of asking ” Are you there God?”. He may not be there, and I may be heartbroken in disappointment. He may indeed be there, and my heart may be rent with love, convicted, burned, and purified more than I am presently comfortable with.
The beauty of Eucharistic Adoration is in the utter simplicity and clarity with which it faces us with the perilous question. There are few other prayers or liturgies that are so simple, so clear, so shockingly frank.
This is an extremely powerful antidote for the confusion and malaise that faces men and women of our time. It is powerful because it is uncomfortable. It forces us out of lukewarmness. It perfectly sets the stage for a modern man or woman to face up to the perilous question. It is a question we will otherwise avoid as long as possible knowing that once it is out there, our lives will not be able to be the same.
There is however a second aspect of Eucharistic Adoration that is of infinite practical import and must not be overlooked: It is silence.
Soren Kierkegaard stated:
“If I were a physician, and if I were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were proclaimed in the modern world, how could one hear it with so much noise? Therefore, create silence.”
We live in a world completely filled with noise, and I am not just talking about physically audible sounds. Consider how loud our world is physically, mentally, and emotionally. When do we ever get a break from all the noise?
Most of us don’t and that is why we have no spiritual silence either.
Usually we think of ourselves as victims of noise but I would suggest that this is simply self-deception become habit. In the book “Finding Sanctuary”, Chistopher Jamison discusses this phenomena. He states:
People speak and act as if being busy is a force beyond their control, as if somewhere back in history a malign spirit of busyness invaded the planet. There was a time, in the good old days, when people had time, and life moved at an easy pace. But modern society changed all that, and now we are stuck with a way of life that is a breathless rush. “People don’t have time like they used to” – and we all nod in agreement.
…if somebody says they are too busy, then either they are too busy or they think they are too busy. Either way, the responsibility lies with them; they choose to lead a busy life, or they choose to think that they do.