Did you ever spend what seemed an eternity in an airport or a hotel lobby looking desperately for a power outlet to recharge your laptop or intelligent device before it ran out of juice? In a way, that was Doran Oancia’s goal in looking for a church with an adoration chapel. As we shared with you a couple blogs ago, this CEO was not having an easy time finding such a place as he looked to relocate his family to another state. Not all churches have a chapel dedicated to 24/7 perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. If you’re like Mr. Oancia, that’s a problem because spending at least an hour each week recharging his spiritual life this way has become a success strategy for his earthly life.
If you can relate to that outlet search to recharge your intelligent device, our faith tells us that success means not only replenishing your own source of enlightenment, but, once recharged, being available as an auxiliary power outlet for others.
That’s what we who regularly recharge through perpetual adoration can become for others—not only through prayer, but through interpersonal spiritual outreach. Sunday’s Mass readings remind us that prayer was a main spiritual energy source for humanity centuries before we started searching for outlets to fix our power capacity problems.
Our second reading from the first book of Timothy (1 Tm 2:1-8) describes the power of prayer that can inspire humanitarian productivity, especially among those who, by their elite status in life, can either promote great help or do great harm:
Beloved: First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. … There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all. … It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.
Such mutual empowerment among communities of the faithful—both the powerful and the powerless—ensures longer lasting intervals of faith between charges. That’s why it’s helpful to seek out more such auxiliary power sources, because inevitably, immersion in our secular culture of illusory self-sufficiency can drain our reserves of faith before we know it.
One such community that families of special-needs children have found is “Faith and Light International,” with outlets around the world. It was founded by Jean Vanier in response to such families being ostracized by the power brokers in that afore-mentioned secular culture. Faith and Light’s mission statement: “When we evangelize our friends with an intellectual disability and lead them to Jesus, then, in their turn, they evangelize us and teach us to know Jesus better. This bears fruit, twenty, thirty, and a hundredfold. Then we all become instruments of peace and unity.”
The peace this generates among Faith and Light members inspired our local chapter in Cleveland to name itself “Sanctuary” for the atmosphere of adoration our collective prayer produces. This miracle is explained in scripture (1Corinthians 1:27): God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong.
This Sunday’s first reading goes back even further, to the Old Testament book of Amos (Am 8:4-7), to warn all power brokers away from draining faith from God’s innocents:
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! … The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!
Many among this world’s powerful probably don’t realize the harm their nearsighted decisions can cause, which in itself is a threat to communities of faith and light because such unintended harm goes unmitigated. That’s why a growing population of CEOs—who are using their influence for online evangelization among fellow power brokers—is ditching the idea of faith/life balance in favor of preaching a system of integrated priorities: Faith, Family and Life. This Sunday’s Gospel reading (Lk 16:1-13), is the main inspiration for such evangelization:
No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.
A life spent in perpetual adoration of God’s Wisdom offers the perpetual sanctuary of His power.
“When we evangelize our friends with an intellectual disability and lead them to Jesus, then, in their turn, they evangelize us and teach us to know Jesus better. This bears fruit, twenty, thirty, and a hundredfold. Then we all become instruments of peace and unity.”
The peace this generates among Faith and Light members inspired our local chapter in Cleveland to name itself “Sanctuary” for the atmosphere of adoration our collective prayer produces. This miracle is explained in scripture (1Corinthians 1:27): God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong.”
Tom it is a blessing to share Faith and Light with you and your beautiful family. Thank you for connecting how Faith and Light enacts our Lord’s Guiding us through scripture and prayer
Ron, the effects of The Spirit’s presence are palpable during our meetings. I saw the effects in my sons–particularly Marty, as he eloquently stated his prayer intentions, which included the victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Our group’s efforts to bring to mind the needs of others–even strangers–helps answer our own needs for spiritual growth. Thank you for hosting this Sanctuary.
Tom, this is a beautiful reflection. I love the choice of the word “Sanctuary” – it really does create a powerful connotation. The Catechism (Par 1324) tells us that the Eucharist is the “Source and summit of the Christian life.” I think about this a lot – that means weekly Mass is absolutely a bare minimum…… if Mass is the SUMMIT, this means we had to get to the summit the rest of the week……. that, to me, is daily prayer, striving to grow in virtue daily in whatever situation God has us in…. which is why Adoration weekly to me is so important. My prayers are with this group, please pray for me! I have found a beautiful adoration chapel here in my new home, the Woodlands, TX. Thanks again and God bless you all, let’s stand together in Christ.
So glad you found an adoration chapel near home, Doran. And thanks for your comments. You’re right, we’re all heading for the Summit of our faith. It’s a tall climb, which is why we need to help each other inch our way up–like the best mountain-climbing teams do. That’s the purpose of this blog and I know it’s the same for yours, Executive Disciple.
Temporary exertion of raw power blows away like dust. The permanent exercise of power is the gift of self in charitable love, which lives eternally because it brings God into the relationship, and nothing can withstand that.
Gentlemen, these are such great thoughts and comments. Thank you all for sharing. Tom to you most of all for taking the time in prayer and thoughtfulness to create these inspiring blogs.
The subject matter is close to home for me as it is not unusual for me to bump into a coworker in adoration chapel or at morning mass on a weekday. I don’t look at these circumstances as a direct impact on the success of our business, but I don’t take it for granted either. There are many examples in the old testament where the faithfulness of God’s chosen people lead to their success and prosperity, and they’re indifference to God to their demise.
God is good all the time
Guys, I just read the front page of the Wall Street Journal this morning, and it was filled with accounts of executives trying to cheat the system to get ahead in life. It lifts the spirits to know there are other executives the WSJ doesn’t cover who know and teach a better way. What all of you embrace is a direct encounter with God. This is revolutionary, but you wouldn’t know it by reading the secular press. You get to know it by living it.