I couldn't let this great feast pass without writing something.
Formal Eucharistic Adoration just doesn't happen in these parts, and whilst any hunger for adoration should be less than the hunger to partake in the Mass, the two complement each other and its absence from the spiritual life of our community is far from a blessing. The feast of Corpus Christi should be celebrated as the proud summit of our mature Faith, Hope and Love.
I got to thinking about all the special moments spent before the Blessed Sacrament during my life. The following is one such occasion about five years ago. My husband, myself and my Mother-in-Law had set off on our own mini pilgrimage to Lourdes. MIL had always wanted to go and we were then in a position to take her. We stopped in one of the older river bank hotels full of statues of saints, pictures of the Sacred Heart and coach loads of Germans.
We spent most of our time there wheeling MIL round the places that could be reached by wheelchair powered by husband. We liked the little Stations of the Cross on the river bank and it will always be a cherished memory; the three of us saying the stations with no-one else around and only the sound of the river and the birds to complement our prayers.
Exposition in the tent near by was equally prayerful and we would join the back of the procession from the tent to Benediction in the giant underground Basilica of St Pius X. I like the basilica, it is cool in the mad heat of midsummer in Lourdes. I think it is a perfect setting for Benediction.
Photo credit: Br Lawrence Lew OP
Where else in the world would a smiling Swiss teenager without uttering a word, whisk your MIL away from you and make sure she was parked with great dignity, right by the altar and the Bishop who was leading the Benediction? There are times when unforgiving concrete becomes the most wonderful thing to kneel on in Adoration. The Basilica is supposed to represent an upturned boat, to me it is like being in the belly of Jonah's whale; saved by the Grace of God yet still so expectant of the future. It is so humbling, kneeling there in adoration with thousands of others from all over the world, the sick, the elderly, the dying and those carrying burdens only God knows about.
Jesus said the only sign given to the "unfaithful generation that asks for a sign" is the "sign of the Prophet Jonah". Well there we all were, in the belly of the whale meditating on our salvation. Oh how much more than a sign or symbol is the Blessed Sacrament, it is our very life!