There is something so sweet about the stillness and silence of the Adoration chapel.
When I first committed to a Holy Hour, back in my 20’s, I hated when someone else would walk in. Not good, I know, but I loved being there all alone with Our Lord. I loved having Him all to myself, and even just hearing the breathing of someone else irritated me.
These days I am never in the Adoration chapel alone. I keep a Holy Hour with a hoard of noisy, impatient, loud-breathers…and if I sneak into the chapel during one of my kid-free hours, I am intruding on someone else’s hour, not that they ever seem irritated I’m there.
To be honest, I still long for that silent, still, private hour with the Lord, but these days my Holy Hour is filled with interruptions.
You read me this book?
Look at what I colored!
Is it time to go?
I have to peeeee!
He took my book!
Can I take my boots off? Can I take my socks off? Can I take my shirt off?
My goal in Adoration is always to meditate on the daily Gospel passage, pray a Rosary and pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Sometimes I do it all. Sometimes I barely get through the Gospel.
In my early days of taking the kids to Adoration, I would bring LOADS of stuff with me, hoping that they would be so occupied that I would be able to pray without interruption.
I quickly learned that more stuff=more mess and more fights. Then I tried to bring less but BETTER stuff, hoping that they would again, leave me to pray without interruptions. That helped, but the interruptions didn’t end–and how could they? Kids are kids.
But here’s the worst part. When I was interrupted in adoration, I would huff and puff and get short with the kids. Real classy mom-move, I know, right there in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
But I felt trapped…and I saw myself as a victim.
I had already given up so much for these stink’n kids…and now they were taking over my Holy Hour too!?!? Was I just supposed to be some sort of doormat that never gets anything good?
Cue the Pity-Party…
…and enter St. Therese.
You likely know already that I love St. Therese and she has given me tough-love on a number of occasions. Here, with kids in adoration, she saw another opportunity and, with the help of Fr. Jacques Philippe’s book, Interior Freedom, she introduced me to the freeing idea of CHOOSING TO BE INTERRUPTED.
Fr. Philippe writes:
[St. Thérèse] did not like having her work interrupted. Sometimes she was asked to do work requiring quite a lot of concentration … [but] the schedule of the Carmelite community was so intense that she had very little time at her disposal. When she finally found an hour or two to devote to the job, she applied herself in the following spirit: ‘I choose to be interrupted.’ If a good Sister then came by to ask her for some little service, instead of coldly sending her away Thérèse made the effort to accept the interruption with good grace. And if nobody interrupted her, she considered that a charming present from her loving God and was very grateful to him.
Interior Freedom, 56
Choosing to be interrupted.
Every fiber of my being tells me that I need to FIGHT AGAINST interruptions, that I need to DEFEND MY TIME and MY SPACE. But St. Therese smiled down on me and gently shook her head.
There is a better way.
When we go into a situation–like adoration with little kids–and we know that we will be interrupted, we can decide something right then and there.
We can choose to be interrupted.
We can choose to remain open. We can choose to give what we have, instead of clutching onto something that will be taken from us. We can choose to see Jesus in that interrupting voice. And when we choose to be interrupted, we are more free to love.
Of course St. Therese didn’t come up with this concept. This is exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross. He chose suffering. He gave us His pain and anguish as a gift.
And so, with the help of St. Therese and the profound example of Jesus Christ, I am working on loosening my grip while in adoration.
If I have a minute or ten to pray in the quiet, it is a gift. If the interruptions come nonstop, then that is a grace as well. A different kind of grace, but a grace nonetheless.
Do I do this perfectly? Far from it. But this advice from St. Therese is so freeing.
Choose to be interrupted. Decide when you walk into adoration (or mass or family prayer) with little ones, that you will welcome the interruptions.
No longer are those little ones intruding on your time with God. Instead, the children are calling you to love Jesus just as present in them as He is up on the altar.
I hope this bit of wisdom from St. Therese is as helpful for you as it has been for me.
Hang in there sister. It’s not easy, but it is drenched in grace.
your sister in the small things,
PS-Make sure to grab the Adoration Family Pack before this bundle disappears in a couple of days.
Find all of the details right here: https://catholicsprouts.com/adoration