Fri 18 Mar, 2011
Tags: Adoration Chapel, Blessed Sacrament, Eucharist, Jesus, Mary Paula
During this Lenten season, Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration Mary Paula Thompson offers a reflection on how she came to realize the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and how that became a calling to religious life.
When I was a child, before my First Communion, I was always impressed every Sunday after Mass when the servers would put on the altar an antependium, which was bright green and had some big gold letters written on it.
I did not know what the letters said, and I asked my mother. She told me that they said, “The Master is here and calleth for thee.” I was very impressed with that but really didn’t know what it meant, so Mom told me that it meant that Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was here all day and all night in the tabernacle – always present. That seemed an awesome thought that Jesus would be there all the time.
As I moved along in my spiritual journey, I was fortunate to have access to daily celebrations of Mass and chapels in high school, nurses training, college and the university, so I routinely made visits. My awareness that Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and His Presence were not confined to that tabernacle grew more and more and, in fact, radiated throughout our entire world, through the cosmos and just everything.
What a gift! I learned this was a constant and persistent welcoming from Him. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is not only My Love but My Lover. When I came to Clyde for the first time and went into our chapel and saw Jesus up there on the altar, I felt so at home that I never have thought seriously of going any place else, I said to Him, “This is it, Jesus, I won’t run away any longer.”
By Benedictine Sister Mary Paula Thompson
Sister Mary Paula made her first profession in 1953 and has been a Benedictine Sister of Perpetual Adoration for 58 years. She has a degree in nursing, along with additional bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and post-graduate studies in spiritual direction, monasticism and psychiatry. She has served as a prioress, postulant director and novice director and has worked in the correspondence department over the years. She lives at our Clyde monastery.