St. Mary Roman Catholic Church at 210 West Main Street, Manchester, MI 48158 US - First Friday Exposition and Adoration
|First Friday Exposition and Adoration|
On the First Friday of each month, we are invited to spend time with Jesus in his special, holy, and miraculous Presence. We have the opportunity to share in "Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament" for 23 hours, beginning at the conclusion of First Friday Mass (8:30-9:15 am), and continuing all day and all night until Benediction at 8:15 am Saturday morning. If Saturday is also First Saturday, there will be a First Saturday Mass following Benediction at 8:30 am.
An Hour In Heaven
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
If the definition of being in heaven is to be with God, then to be present before the Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament is to spend time with Him in heaven while here on earth. Each First Friday the members of St. Mary Church have both the opportunity and the privilege of spending an hour in heaven by spending an hour in prayer before Jesus Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. This time before the Lord in the Sacrament of His Sacrifice is a blessing, one that will offer many spiritual benefits to the individual soul as well as to the soul of the St. Mary Parish family. There is an old adage that the family that prays together stays together; the same is true of the parish family. Not only will this time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament strengthen the bonds of the parish family with the Lord, but it will also be a source of refreshment, encouragement and conversion for the entire parish.
Peace of Soul
The times that we live in do not allow for prayer and reflection. Many of us are running here and there, doing this and doing that, shuttling the children to this event and that sports game. This type of ‘rat race’ existence has its effects on both the individual and the family. Even if the average Catholic makes it to Sunday Mass it seems to be just another thing on the list of many things that has to be done. All the more reason why we should take some time to slow ourselves down and to rest in the presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Just spending one hour a month before the Most Blessed Sacrament will help to instill a deep inner peace in the soul of the individual that takes the time to be with the Lord. Time is valuable these days. Our time is usually very precious. So the time that we give to the Lord should also be seen as precious and as a gift we give to Him. If we can do this, commit to one hour before the Lord on the First Friday each month, things will change for us and we will experience a deep interior peace that comes only from God.
Afraid of Silence?
There could be a fear of spending an hour in prayer for many reasons. Because we are so often task oriented the person who does not know how to pray or even know what to do if they would spend an hour before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament could be a deterrent for them to sign up or to just come and spend time with Jesus. Because we are often more comfortable with ‘doing’ things, it could be very frightening to even anticipate doing ‘nothing’ for an hour. When the soul comes before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament they do not have to do anything except be present to Him. St. John Vianney when asked what he does when he goes before the Blessed Sacrament for prayer simply said, "I look at Him and He looks at me." For this saint, time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was simply like looking into the face of your beloved and being lost in their beauty. It can be very intimidating to think of being alone with our own thoughts for an hour. All the more reason to do it! This is the only chance that God has to flood our soul with His love. Once a person commits to one hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, the next hurdle to get over is to stop the interior noise that we will bring with us. We might leave the ‘rat race’ outside of the church, but the internal ‘rat race’ still goes on. So it is a type of learned discipline to be able to quiet the inner noise that is so often a part of our busy lives so that we can be physically, emotionally and spiritually present to the Lord.
Do not throw away this chance for grace
One hour a month is not a lot of time. Many of us spend hours before the television or in the car driving to work or various other places. Many of us spend many hours shopping. But Jesus is only asking for one hour from you once a month to spend in His Substantial Presence in the Eucharist. The Most Blessed Sacrament is an extension of the Mass. Therefore it is Christ Himself that will be present on the altar to shower down upon us His grace and His love. What better place to be? Think of it as making an appointment with Jesus, or a visit with a friend who loves you very much. Please do not let this opportunity go by without reaping its benefits. Children should also be brought for some time with the Lord. So that an early age they can learn how important it is to be in the Real Presence of Christ and experience a glimpse of heaven right here on earth.