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The Monstrance — 2 Stories

Before I can tell this story, I must first explain a few things in order for non-Catholic Christians to understand the setting of the stories.

Catholics believe that as the communion host and wine are blessed by the priest that our Lord Jesus literally becomes part of the Eucharist (host and wine), just as Jesus told his disciples in 1 Corinthians 11:24-29:

"This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me ... This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me." St Paul continued, "Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming His death, and so anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be behaving unworthily towards the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone is to recollect himself before eating this bread and drinking this cup; because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the Body [of the Lord] is eating and drinking his own condemnation."

This is why during the Catholic Mass a person must be Catholic in order to receive communion, so that anyone taking the Eucharist truly understands the importance of their actions. It's also why we kneel before Mass to properly prepare our hearts to receive Christ in the Eucharist. I tell you this in order to explain Adoration, the context in which my two God stories take place.

Because we revere Christ in the Eucharist, some Catholic parishes have an Adoration Chapel, where the blessed host (a larger version of the smaller wafers) is "exposed" to all who come to worship Him. If no one is in the chapel, the monstrance is covered and the chapel lights are turned out, though the candles are always lit. The photo above is the altar from our small Adoration Chapel. In the center is the monstrance, which is a gold receptacle for the sacred host. The host is located in the circle below the cross and in the center of the halo of light (probably looks more like a sun burst to you).

I spend one hour every Thursday morning in the chapel. We have almost every hour of every day, except Sunday, with someone in the chapel — 24/6. We try to ensure that He is never there alone. It's quite a worship experience, just spending a quiet hour alone with Jesus.

Many adorers have shared stories of unusual happenings during their hour with Jesus. When I first started, I figured it wouldn't be much different than my daily awesome experiences that I call God stories. I'm always in awe of the events but seldom am I stunned after so many years of God letting me know He's with me. The two events in these stories were down right eerie, when they happened to me several weeks apart.

Story One
There are many different religious and spiritual reading material in the chapel, since everyone gets close to Jesus in many different ways. Though I generally say my full-length daily prayers (I have an abbreviated version for most busy weekdays), or I just meditate with Jesus for the hour. Several times, totally alone in the chapel, I even have sung the entire Divine Mercy chaplet to our Lord.

After I had been doing my weekly Adoration hour for a few months, I was led to look at a booklet in the chapel. It was the "Miracle Hour", by Linda Schubert, a method of prayer broke into 12 five-minute sections to equal the hour. Those sections are: praise, sing to the Lord, spiritual warfare, surrender, release of the Holy Spirit, repentance, forgiveness, scripture reflections, wait for the Lord to speak, intercessions, petitions, and thanksgiving.

As I read this little booklet that was chocked full of valuable and inspirational information, I became more and more sure that the Lord was prompting me to take this prayer structure for my daily prayers that were already 45 minutes long. So, I stopped reading and asked, "Jesus, is this what you want me to do?"

Almost immediately, the monstrance began to vibrate and make noise. This was quite eerie. Of all the weeks I had been doing this hour, it had never vibrated! I slowly put down the booklet and quietly approached the monstrance. It continued to vibrate and make a ringing noise, until I leaned forward with my nose almost touching the host case. Then, it stopped, though I hadn't moved my feet. As I moved back, it began vibrating and making that ringing noise. Again, it stopped as I placed my face almost in touching range.

I moved back, and said, "Okay, Lord. I'll make this my new prayer structure." It didn't vibrate again during that hour. I took my current prayers and put them into the new structure, once I got home. I guess the Lord Jesus wanted to ensure I understood His answer!

Story Two
A few weeks after the first incidence with the monstrance, I was meditating with the Lord in the chapel again during my weekly hour with Jesus. A man had stopped in for a few minutes of prayer — nothing unusual, since many different people occasionally stop in, just for a few minutes with God. After he left, I stopped my meditation and began looking at the reading material. I discovered a Mass song book, and smiled. I had been wanting some ideas for songs to add to this web site. I took it back to my seat and began going through the book, making notes of some song ideas (I always carry a tiny notepad and pens in my purse — just in case the Lord decides to give me some inspiration during my hour).

After a few minutes, the monstrance began to vibrate and make that same ringing noise.  I got up and approached it as I did the first time, not understanding why it would be vibrating — I hadn't been praying for any guidance. Placing my face close this time didn't stop the vibration. The only way I was able to stop it was to solidly put both my hands on the base of it and press down as hard as I could with all my strength. As soon as I let go, it started again. I finally returned to my seat and just stared at it for a minute or so. I finally gave up and went back to noting songs, while it continued to ring. Eventually, the ringing grew louder.

Then, it hit me. I had forgotten my watch and there's no clock in the chapel. I had asked Jesus, after I first entered the chapel, to let me know some way when my hour was up. I knew the scheduled adorer after me was on vacation and hadn't been able to get anyone to substitute. I thought, "Could this be Jesus telling me it's noon?" Sure enough, I left the chapel and my car clock read 12:08, which coincided with the approximate amount of time from when the monstrance began vibrating. I totally smiled all the way home!

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