From Fr. Paul 2-4-2018

Friendship with Jesus is an essential characteristic of being a disciple. The disciples followed Jesus, stayed with Him, ate with Him and learned from Him. The great spiritual writers of our Catholic tradition speak of friendship with the Lord as “divine intimacy”.

Authentic friendship or intimacy with the Lord is something we all desire, we all long for, whether we realize it or not. We can have great peace and freedom in our lives when we have an authentic friendship with Christ. That is why I frequently bring this theme into my homilies or talk about it when I offer spiritual direction or counseling.

Friendship with the Lord keeps the commandments rooted in love, and reminds us that we are not alone in this life, for Jesus promised to be with us always, until the end of the age. Friendship with Jesus means that we must spend time with Him beyond Sunday Mass or a short blessing before meals. We do this when we regularly spend time in prayer and spend time with Jesus through the Scriptures.

The Scriptures are essential to this friendship or Jesus will soon become like an imaginary friend, someone who we invent - often in our own image. Spending time with the Scriptures enable us to know the words of Jesus, His teachings as He gave them, and His miracles. Since Jesus is risen and alive, He continues to speak to us through His word. We come to know a friend by spending time in their presence, by just being together and by having conversations. The amazing thing is that we are able to follow these same principles of friendship with Jesus as well. Before Jesus ascended to the Father, He left us on earth the Sacrament of His Body, the Sacrament of His abiding Presence in the Eucharist.  We can come into His Presence, to rest and stay, to adore, to speak and to listen.  Since we moved the morning Mass times on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to 7:30am, I have been thinking of offering to the parish an opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration on those mornings.

With the support of some of our parishioners, I began offering the opportunity to pray in the Presence of the Lord on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings beginning at 6:30am. The Blessed Sacrament will be placed on the altar at 6:30am for about an hour of silent adoration. We will conclude with Benediction around 7:20am just before the 7:30am Mass. Spending time with Jesus in Adoration is a powerful way to grow in your relationship with Christ. The silence provides an environment to better hear God speak to our hearts. I invite you to consider making a commitment to spend some time with the Lord as you begin your day. You can come for the whole hour, or you can make a short visit, stopping on your way to work or when dropping a child off to a before-school program.

I am hoping this provides a way to begin your day in the Lord’s Presence, to strengthen you for all the joys and difficulties that each day might bring. Look to the bulletin and our Facebook page for additional opportunities for Adoration coming in Lent, as well as other devotions to help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

God bless,

Fr. Paul

St. Mary Catholic Community Downtown Royal Oak Eucharistic Adoration