This is part of a two week series on Many Little Blessings where either I or my family try something that is a new experience and then reflect on it. Check out all of the new experiences.
The New Experience
This is kind of true that it is a new experience. The kids have actually been to Adoration once before while we were traveling and stopped in at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. However, they were all much younger and we spent just a few minutes at Adoration. Considering that they had very little memory of it and it was just for a couple of minutes, I figured it was a great opportunity for a new experience.
For my readers that aren’t familiar with what Adoration is…
Since Catholics believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, some churches will have Adoration which is a time when a consecrated host is displayed in a monstrance on the altar. This means it is a special chance to quietly be in prayer with Jesus.
As a bonus new experience, I decided to wear a veil when I went to Adoration.
How I Picked the New Experience
I had been wanting to take the kids for quite some time, but just never did it. This, of course, made me feel bad because I thought I should, but just wasn’t doing it. Adoration in our area isn’t in the most convenient place, and I let my own concerns about being able to get us there get in the way of just doing it. The blog series gave me the push I needed.
Oh, and the veil? I have been wanting to do that for a long time too, but have never had the guts to do it at Mass. But, Adoration seemed like the perfect opportunity.
How I Felt Prior to the New Experience
I was excited to take the kids, but also unsure about the logistics of getting there. I also worried that they would get bored and that I would end up leaving frazzled or have to make crazy mom eyes at them while we were there.
I was also excited to try out the veil, but also worried that someone would see me and think, “Who does this chick think she is? She’s carrying a bag that says, ‘I Love Nerds’ on it and she thinks she can pull off this veil thing?”
The Adoration Experience
In order to stave off boredom, I suggested various things that the kids could do while we were there. I told them that while they didn’t have to pray the whole time they were there, the things they did should be things that would bring them closer to God.
For the record, here’s what they chose to do: Noah read from a DK Children’s Bible that had a lot of history information in it (which is his thing), Jack decided to pray the Rosary (which wasn’t even something I suggested), and Molly asked me to bring along a bunch of cards we have that contain prayers which she proceeded to read to herself and then she drew a picture of the monstrance. (Molly’s request for me to bring the prayer cards also surprised me.)
As for me – I mostly just knelt and sat quietly. I’ve been feeling some angst lately, so I prayed some, but mostly I just sat with Jesus in silence. I needed to not have a thousand thoughts racing through my head. I needed that stillness. In that way, the veil was nice. It was like blinders and I felt focused on the quiet.
I had told the kids that we would stay for 20 minutes. I figured that was probably a good introduction to Adoration for them, given their ages. If they were younger, I certainly would have done even shorter. But, I didn’t want to press my luck, as I figured they would leave there less than pleased anyway.
The kids did well for the first 10 minutes. They did really, really well. I was impressed and touched. I looked at the time, fearing that those first 10 minutes had only actually been five minutes. Instead, what I was sure had been 10 minutes was 22 minutes instead. I checked the time again, just to be sure.
So, we went ahead and stayed for 30 minutes instead. We gathered our things quietly and left. On our way out, an elderly woman smiled broadly at me and gave me an approving wink. She probably didn’t know how much that meant to me, but it made my heart feel full, especially since I figured that upon leaving, I would get polite remarks from the children about our time in Adoration. You know, the kind of remarks that are like this, “Thanks so much for making peas as a side dish for dinner, Mom. They were so, um, uh, green. Thanks.”
Instead, the first comment came from Noah. “I really liked that,” he smiled. The other kids chimed in that they were surprised the time went so fast and that they would enjoy going again.
Would I Do This Experience Again?
I have heard people speak over and over about the difference going to Adoration has made in their lives. I was thrilled that while we were walking out, the children suggested that we should make it a monthly occurrence. They really did enjoy it, and so did I.
Wait, here’s where I dispel the idea that I have super holy kids. I actually suggested we could go weekly or every other week, when they indicated that they would like to go again on a regular basis. When I also said monthly, they jumped on that. Just felt that I needed to share that in the interest of full disclosure.
But do you know what? I’m thrilled that, even though they jumped on the longest time frame I suggested, they were the ones to suggest we start going on a regular basis. I think it will be a beautiful addition to our family’s life.
To read more 10 Day Series, check out the iHomeschool Network Hopscotch!