monstrance

Eucharistic Silence

Share

The chapel is tucked away in the silent corner of the high school, where the sound of footsteps disappears right beyond the entranceway through the wooden doors. On a Friday afternoon after several class periods of teaching, with my bag slung over my shoulder, I make my way inside, the noise of the world fading away as I gently walk—almost tiptoe—toward the holy water font and make the sign of the cross. As I move forward toward the center aisle and double genuflect, I look up toward the altar, where I gaze upon the Beloved before my very eyes. In the golden monstrance, which looks like a radiant sun, there, adorned in glory, Christ is hidden in the Sacred Host. 

There is the soft sound of Gregorian chant as I slide into the pew and kneel reverently before the Lord. In those moments, I attempt to adjust to the quiet, trying to silence my inner thoughts and create a stillness in my mind. There before me is my God, the King of Kings, who is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. I know Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, and yet it is incredibly difficult to pause my scattered thoughts, which are like Instagram reels swiping left and right in my mind. I see snippets one after the other of my students, grades, lessons, report cards, and final exams. Then, scenes from a former part of my life when I was in the convent flash to and fro in my mind, and finally, there resounds in my head the question on never-ending repeat, “What is God’s will for me in my life now?”

But fortunately, it does not take long before, all at once, the reign of silence echoes in my heart, and the whirlwind within my mind dissipates into the peaceful bliss of the sacred place. As my eyes fixate upon the tiny white Host, I am reminded once again of Who is present. I am surrounded by classrooms of teachers clicking away at their PowerPoint slides as they teach their subject content, and students tapping away at their iPads with Apple Pencil in hand, yet within the little chapel the stillness has taken hold and the noise of the world has been absorbed by the solemn silence. Christ is the only one that matters; He is my everything, the Alpha and Omega. 

It is in the quiet that I can feel the loving embrace of Christ within the calmness. Little by little, the fleeting thoughts leave me for a while, and I am in peace alone with the Bridegroom. I can truly lay my burden down and rest in him, even if it is only for a short time. I lend my ear to him and place my head upon Christ’s breast to hear the divine heartbeat, and relish in the moments where it is he and I alone in the hushed silence. The hustle and bustle continues to swirl around the sacred realm, but when I am with him, time appears to stop; the wonder and awe of the divine presence overwhelms me.

What is God’s will for me in my life now?

After a while of soaking in the Eucharistic silence, I know, by the sound of the hands on the ticking clock, that the time has come to depart the tranquility and make my way down from the heavenly mountain and return to the crowd. I long to forever remain with him, enveloped by his dazzling light and basking in the rays of the sun, but I know the world beckons me, as I am a part of it. I push myself up and out of the pew, and as my knees hit the chapel floor in genuflection, I cling to the interior stillness as I take a last glimpse at the bread from heaven. 

After I bless myself with holy water and glide toward the chapel doors, a smile sweeps across my face because his love captivates my soul. It is during Adoration of our Eucharistic Lord that silence penetrates through all of the noise. There, in the midst of the wilderness, his grace flows deep down into our souls, and we can find a peaceful bliss. When we are in the quiet, we are better able to hear and listen to God’s gentle whisper speaking to us in our hearts. Jesus Christ—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—comes to us in his sacrament of love, and if we come to pray and kneel before him in the Host, where he waits upon the altar in the center of the golden sunbeam, a Eucharistic silence will find us there.