My parish celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Given that adoration began on this date, I know that Our Lady has had much to do with the longevity of the chapel.
To mark this great occasion, we had a four day parish mission given by two of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. These two priests were very powerful preachers. Their homilies were wonderful, full of reminders of how much Jesus loves us to remain with us in this Most Blessed Sacrament.
Friday and Saturday were the most powerful and beautiful of the entire mission. There was exposition of the Blessed Sacrament both nights, on Friday night, to go along with his homily on the healing power of the Eucharist, Fr. Giuseppe held a healing prayer service at the end of which you were invited to come forward as he went from person to person with Jesus in the monstrance. Saturday evening continued the healing theme, but this time with Jesus as Divine Physician in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
For me personally this was the most powerful evening. I enjoyed Fr. Giuseppe's homilies and got the sense he would be a good confessor. Despite two of our parish priests hearing confessions, I still had to wait an hour and a half to have my confession heard. It was worth the wait. That wait was also spent prayerfully as there was exposition that night as well. Normally when I am on line for confession, I am a little jittery, not so on this night. Waiting in Jesus' exposed Presence had a very calming effect. It had been some time since my last confession, and I had made up my mind that I would go during the mission.
I don't know if you have ever had the experience of a priest telling you what your root sin is, but this happened during my confession. Strangely and divinely enough, I had been thinking about exactly what Father told me. This truly was one of my best confessions.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist really do go hand in hand. We need both desperately. One gets us ready for the other, and both sustain us spiritually.
Many graces were poured out over the course of these four days, not only on me individually, but also on our parish. Our Lord's gifts and generosity are never out done. May He be praised, adored, worshiped and loved always and everywhere.