Spending a Holy Hour with Jesus in Adoration is one of my favorite things to do. A peaceful, quiet time to sit, reflect and just be with Jesus without the constant calls of “Mom!” or the constant ping of work emails. It’s a refuge. But it’s also a beautiful gift of the Church I want my children to know and enjoy. Bring my kids to a Holy Hour … you have got to be kidding me! Kids are a lot of things, but quiet is not often one of them. Every Sunday it’s all I can do to get my kids through an hour of Mass without them having full volume conversations, crawling on the floor and asking “is it over?” at every quiet moment. How could I possibly get them through a Holy Hour??
Grace, that’s how.
Last year, my husband and I found ourselves in a precarious situation. It was the Wednesday of Holy Week. Our parish was holding Confession and Adoration (for the last time before Easter) and we needed to get ourselves to Confession. Our daughters, ages five and two, were with grandma and grandpa for the night, but our oldest was home, as he had school the next day. I was sure he would disrupt others’ prayer time. I was sure he would be bored and whiny and not want to wait for mom and dad to slowly make their way through the long, pre-Easter confession lines. We rolled the dice. I packed a notebook, pen and children’s Bible and said a quick prayer that Jesus really meant it when he said “Let the children come to me” — and boy did he.
My son was a champ. Sure he didn’t sit completely still and quietly adore Jesus. But he genuflected without being reminded. He sat and said a Hail Mary, an Our Father and the Prayer to St. Michael. We talked in whispers about the beautiful paintings around the cathedral, especially all the aspects of the large crucifixion scene behind the altar. He learned a lot. And I learned a lot, especially about grace and the beauty of the faith of a child. It was a beautiful way to start the Triduum.
Fast forward about four months, and again we find ourselves in the situation of needing Confession. I was able to sneak it in earlier in the week, but my husband was facing another Wednesday night Adoration/Confession session and this time, I’m stuck at home with our new infant son, just a few days old. So what does my saint of a husband do? He takes both our now seven year old son and five year old daughter to Adoration with him. BY HIMSELF.
And guess what? They were fantastic. They asked more questions about the different saint statues throughout the cathedral. They sat quietly keeping each other company while my husband was in the confessional. And when they got home, they told me how awesome it was and how they can’t wait to go back. We now go as a family more Wednesdays than not out of the month…although the two year old still hangs out with grandma and grandpa on Wednesday, so we haven’t crossed that bridge quite yet (Two year olds, am I right?).
They still whisper questions and get restless, and we only make it about 30 minutes at most, but they love being with Jesus. They love being with Him so much so that last week, my daughter whispered “I just want to TOUCH Jesus mom!” and reached out her little hands to Him as if she could just squeeze Him with all her heart.
If you too are apprehensive to take your kids to Adoration, let me encourage you with all my heart to bring those little souls to Jesus! Let those children go to Him and shuffle and whisper and wonder out loud at all the beauty contained in the Catholic faith. Give yourself some, and ask God for more grace to make it through. It’s not the same as sitting quietly alone in Adoration (which is also fantastic), but it just may bring you even closer to our Lord in a whole new way.