It was quiet outside the small, cylindrical building. Vividly green desert plants lined the bottom of the cement wall. Bright Arizona sun glinted off of embossed metal letters around the wooden door.
NOT LIGHT BUT FIRE
DARKNESS NOT CLARITY
PRAYER NOT READING
It was my first stop of the day. Not entirely sure what to expect, I breathed deeply, pulled on the door handle and entered.
It was dark inside, but hazy light filtered through some stained glass in the ceiling. Recessed benches lined the wall, and in the center of the room a pillar made of wood and glass rose from the floor.
The silence was weighty.
A small candle caused the pillar to glow from the inside and I approached with curiosity.
There was something else in the pillar, a silver container with a cross on top, and in an instant I knew what it was. Of course. This is the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
Without another thought I fell to my knees on the small prayer bench in front of the ciborium.
I was struck silent. My usually incessant internal monologue ceased and gave way to a particular kind of reverence and awe.
I think I experienced true holy fear for the first time.
Here in front of me was the consecrated Host. The Body of my Lord and my God. The personal presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit–somehow distinct yet also unmistakably one–was tangible to me.
The thick atmosphere that seemed to surround me wasn’t silence, it was the glory of the Lord.
When words came, I could only seem to manage these:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, have mercy on me, a sinner.
* * *
Jesus was present in that moment, in a dramatic and powerful way. That morning something else was impressed on heart: a reminder that Jesus is always present inside of us through his Spirit.
Learning to live in ever-awareness of this must be part of what it means to walk with Jesus daily.