St. Francis de Sales’ Parish has taught me about the hunger of the Church, the Body of Christ, for times of prayer and encounter with God. One of the more touching moments during the shutdown of the State during Lent in 2020 came when a family of parishioners prayed night prayer with Fr. Bline and me from a distance, in the dark. They came even while it was raining. We opened a window of the rectory and prayed and sang the Salve Regina. It was a profound moment of longing as a Church. It expressed - even in a small and poetic way - the yearning for more of God that happens in the dark moments. It was, in the rain, at night, a light during troubled times. That memory says so much about this place, its prayerful spontaneity, and your hunger for Jesus.
Eucharistic Adoration and St. Francis de Sales go together like peas and carrots. Whether it’s the early morning group coming in before the morning Mass, or the Compline prayers during Advent, the adoration of Jesus’ Real Presence often bookends the day at St. Francis de Sales. Your faithfulness to the Blessed Sacrament continues to shape my own heart towards the Eucharist and reminds me to continue to adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
We always need reminders to keep our eyes on Jesus. Eucharistic Adoration at St. Francis does precisely this in a humble and silent witness of hope. This witness bears testimony to your trust in Jesus and also shows me how strong your desire to intercede for others truly is here. Each parish has some charisms peculiarly its own, and I would say that Eucharistic Adoration with intercessory prayer seems to be one of St. Francis de Sales’ own charisms from God. You build up the entire Church in ways you couldn’t begin to imagine. Your intercession joins with the angels and saints in heaven to build people up in the Spirit. In some ways, we never get to “see” the fruit of this prayer. But, in other ways, the fruit is in the faithfulness to Christ to which you bear witness. Like St. Joseph with the Holy Family, adoring the Savior, you bear humble testimony to the presence of God that we all hunger for and seek.
Do not let that thirst dry up. Do not stop aching for more. Because, with Jesus, there is always more he desires to give to us.
Thank you for your witness of hope and faith!
Fr. Jacob Bearer