In 8th grade, I was preparing to make my confirmation, and as every other kid in the Diocese would, I had to complete service hours. To fulfill some of my service hours, I would go to Eucharistic Adoration in order to receive the hours I needed. It was in those hours of silence, stillness, and solitude that I first encountered Jesus Christ. I remember sitting in a dimly lit church at 3 am completely lost in prayer. Amidst my pain and suffering, I heard Christ speak to me. He said, “I love you.” Hearing Christ speaks these words to my heart gave me great comfort, peace, and joy. Before this illuminating encounter, my struggle with self-identity was ongoing for years until I realized that it was rooted in Christ and is inseparable from our human nature.
My encounter with our Creator felt like he saw into all the depths of my heart which no one else, not even I, had seen. This is a beautiful thing because Jesus saw who I truly was and loved me all the same. It’s in these moments where we see his promises such as “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28) become true. I was only able to listen to Him because I made the sincere effort to open up my heart and listen. That day, as I left Eucharistic Adoration, I was reminded of the words spoken clearly in scripture, “Go and sin no more.”
By Daniel De Menezes
St. Mary Parish, Norwalk