I’ve been asleep for a long time. Domestic violence tends to have that effect on a person. I’ve been entombed, like a stolen princess from one of Grimm’s fantasy tales. Yet sadly, this is no fantasy. It’s all too real, all too painful. I’ve enclosed myself in a glass casket, severed myself from society, secluded myself in a spell-infected forest of my own making. Nobody can find me here, nobody can touch me.
Betrayal trauma does that to a victim. This is particularly true when the betrayal is an extended one, lasting years or even decades. Infidelity, domestic abuse, the confusion of being brainwashed into believing you must be the cause of every issue and conflict in your relationship … All these issues lead to severe self-doubt, confusion and a driving need to isolate. Isolation feels safe, and a sense of safety is what victims of abuse need the most — because it’s what they lack the most.
My personal sense of safety and well-being has been broken into shreds and shards and tiny, piercing fragments.
As a trauma survivor, I’ve learned — the hard way — that no amount of education, group work, therapy or other programs of self-care can heal the wounds of my soul. It’s too broken in there. I’m scraped raw, in a numb shock that’s too painful to describe.
How can I fix myself?
The fact is, I can’t. Education, awareness, intervention … All these things are so crucial. However, let’s face the truth: they’re not enough.
For a very long time, I’ve realized I needed to wake up from the numbing pain caused by domestic abuse and betrayal trauma. I’ve been broken for too long. As I heal and the numbness begins to dissipate, then the pain rushes in.
And I can hear Jesus calling to me. He’s beckoning; He’s asking. He wants to heal me:
But how? I don’t understand how I can be a phoenix, how to arise from the ashes of my life.
Even so, I can hear God clearly saying
Little girl, arise. Jenny, come out. Unbind her, let her go!”
(Mark 5:41, John 11:43,44)
Only Christ can unbind me from the trauma I’ve endured. Only through His gifts of love and mercy can I let the pain go and allow myself to rest in His healing touch.
All this brings me to the crucial topic of Eucharistic Adoration.
My adventure into healing and renewal didn’t truly begin until I was introduced to Eucharistic Adoration. Perhaps “introduced” is the wrong word, since I’d long been aware of this devotion. Even so, I’d moved away from my home parish — where Adoration was available 24/7 — and into a parish where it was offered only once per month, during the nighttime hours from First Fridays to the morning hours of First Saturdays.
Not exactly convenient.
The idea of online Adoration wasn’t something on my radar. It seemed so impersonal and bizarre. I had to talk to a well-trusted friend about how much I hungered for Adoration, but couldn’t go, before the concept of livestreaming Adoration was brought up.
“It may seem really strange as you begin,” my friend told me, repeating my own thoughts, “But I encourage you to at least give it a try. I did, during COVID. I was shocked to feel Jesus present, just as He is in live Adoration. Christ doesn’t care about human time or distance. Really, give it a try.”
And so I did. And I was shocked.
My friend had been right. Christ is present during Eucharist Adoration, whether you’re attending live or livestream.
Hunkered in a weeping ball at His feet, enveloped in the warmth of His healing love, I began to feel a peace within me that grew with each passing day. My insides felt renewed, and my physical health was improving. My anxiety was decreasing. Just sitting with Him, even for mere minutes, always leads me to a serenity I simply can’t get anywhere else.
The reasons to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament are varied and beautiful. Perhaps you want to sink deeper into your relationship with Christ. Maybe you need release from gripping anxiety and fear. You could have a burning desire to “watch and pray” with Jesus (Mark 14:38, Matt. 36:38, Lk. 22:46), or be in need of peace and healing. Despite the reason, if you truly open yourself to God’s graces and gifts, Eucharistic Adoration is a sure way to enrich, enhance and enliven your spiritual journey.
And if, like me, you’re not able to go to in-person Adoration, fear not!
I’ve compiled a list livestream Adoration chapels for your daily devotions. You can attend anytime, anywhere, for any amount of time. If you don’t have an hour, but only five or fifteen minutes, that’s ok. Of course, an hour gives the greatest benefits, but we all have to do what we can, within the time God gives us.
I’ve noticed that these links sometimes change, so it might be a good idea for you to bookmark them. If they suddenly stop working, just do a search for that particular chapel. There’s a good chance a new YouTube link will appear in the search results. If you have any livestream chapels you’d like to add to the list, please contact me.