The Blessed Sacrament as a Vestibule

Q:  When I’m sitting in a small chapel doing my Centering and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed directly in front of me, must I close my eyes? Behind the Monstrance is a beautiful crucifix.  I would not keep my eyes open if there were other people in the chapel; however sometimes I’m there alone. Am I still Centering with my eyes open in this situation?

A: I know what you mean. I have sat in chapel and had the desire to just gaze on the real Eucharistic presence in the monstrance. What I found was after a while I seemed to be looking at it but it begins to  fade and I need to refocus. That is when I realized that I should do my Centering Prayer because the communication with my eyes has moved into a deeper communion with my being and I, in a sense, received a spiritual communion by allowing the presence to enter into me. The monstrance and the crucifix are no longer separate from me – we are one. There is no separation. So my suggestion to you is to see your time before the Blessed Sacrament as a vestibule – a preparation – and when you see you are fading then close your eyes,  receive a spiritual communion and allow God to embrace you as you consent to God’s presence and action within you in Centering Prayer. I hope this helps.

In God’s Presence,

Fr. Carl