May 27, 2022

Stories of love flow from people’s embrace of eucharistic adoration

Diane and Ron Sharp shared a love for eucharistic adoration. (Submitted photo)

Diane and Ron Sharp shared a love for eucharistic adoration. (Submitted photo)

(Editor’s note: The Criterion invited people to share their stories of how their participation in eucharistic adoration has touched their lives and deepened their relationship with Jesus. Here are two of their stories. See others here.)
 

By John Shaughnessy

Diane Sharp’s love of her faith and eucharistic adoration flows through the story that her husband Ron shares about her.

As Ron shares the story that began years ago, his love for her also is clear.

“There was a note in the church bulletin that a perpetual adoration chapel was going to be started at our church,” says Ron concerning St. Therese of the Infant Jesus (Little Flower) Parish in Indianapolis.

“Diane joined immediately and would go each Tuesday evening from 6 to 7. She was faithful for years and would suggest that I attend with her. Gradually, she wore me down. We would serve at Mass at 5:30 p.m. and then go to the adoration chapel.”

Ron quickly realized what he had been missing.

“It was so peaceful to be with Jesus. She would say the Divine Mercy chaplet, and I would read St. Faustina’s Diary. We did this for many years. If Tuesday fell on Christmas Day or another holiday, we were at the chapel praying. It helped in so many ways in getting to solve problems with work issues. It was so quiet, and you could lay all of your troubles before the Lord.”

Eucharistic adoration became an essential part of their lives—and a connection with other Catholics—but then the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020 led to the closing of Little Flower’s adoration chapel. So they found other ways to live their faith.

“My wife started watching the Mass on EWTN in the morning. We would say the rosary in the morning and afternoon, and at 3 p.m. we would say the Divine Mercy chaplet. In the evening, Diane would go into our den and spend an hour of adoration with Jesus in either Poland, Alabama or England. When she finished her hour, I would ask her, ‘What did Jesus have to tell you tonight?’ She would reply, ‘He is waiting for you.’ ”

As churches reopened, they returned to Mass in person and their prayer time together continued, even though the adoration chapel stayed closed. Then heartbreak struck.

“We both were on the liturgy commission at our church and, on November 1 of last year, we were to bring cookies to the Mass of Remembrance reception,” Ron recalls. “Diane was in our kitchen making cookies, and I heard my name called out and a crash. She was on the floor and breathing very heavily. Diane had a stroke and was taken to Methodist Hospital.”

She never recovered, dying eight days later.

“It is still very devastating, and it has left a big hole in my heart,” Ron says. “She was a woman of character. Always faithful throughout her life. Just a nice person and kind and patient. I never heard her take the Lord’s name in vain in all of our 43 years of marriage, and I gave her many a chance to do so.

“Several times, Diane said to me she wished someone could look into her soul so she knew she was on the right path and doing what God wanted her to do.”

He thinks about the life and the love they shared. He thinks about all the ways she lived her faith. He thought of her, especially when he learned that a group at Little Flower wanted to start eucharistic adoration in the chapel again.

“I was called, and I said I would continue the 6-7 time slot on Tuesday evenings,” he says. “God is good, and we are all blessed by his mercy and love.”

‘The greatest love story of all time’

Sharon Montieth has felt a special bond with the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen ever since she learned about this quote from him: “The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white host.” 

“My heart echoes his sweet sentiments,” Montieth says about the archbishop who was a pioneer in using radio and television to spread the Catholic faith.

Her love of the Eucharist—and of Christ’s love for humanity in offering his body and blood—were already foundations of her life when she began Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults classes to be received into the full communion of the Church in 2015.

“I had already done an extraordinary amount of research, had met with the priest several times and needed no convincing that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ,” recalls Montieth, a member of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Indianapolis. “I was very anxious to receive Communion, having been a practicing Christian for many years.”

Her devotion to eucharistic adoration came more slowly, she says.

“At first, I was very formulaic and was focused on having the proper resources at my disposal, the correct prayers to recite,” she says. “It took training to be still. I felt vulnerable sitting with Jesus, and yet an intimacy began to develop as my fear started to dissipate. Some extraordinary and remarkable exchanges have taken place with the deepening of my relationship with Christ.”

Two experiences stand out to her, including one involving Archbishop Sheen.

“My devotion to Fulton Sheen started when the Lord called me to make a pilgrimage to Peoria to visit [the late archbishop’s] museum and tomb,” Montieth recalls about that trip to Illinois. “This required overcoming many obstacles—like not having a working vehicle at the time—but it came with an abundant amount of graces, which included attending Mass with Bishop Daniel [R.] Jenky and receiving his blessing.”

The second experience that stands out to her involves a book that a friend gave her while Montieth was a patient in a hospital in 2015, just a few months after receiving Communion for the first time.

The book is titled Compassion: Living in the Spirit of St. Francis, and its front cover includes a picture of a baby robin in a nest, with its mouth wide open, waiting to be fed.

“During eucharistic adoration in May of 2020, Jesus told me to watch the front bush outside my home,” Montieth says. “I discovered a robin’s nest and began taking daily photos.”

One of the photos mirrored the picture of the baby robin on the front of the book.

“The reminder I was loved, seen and befriended by Christ and his holy followers was very much needed during an exceptionally lonely time.

“These are just two examples of many consolations I’ve received. My holy hours spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament don’t always include such specific directives, but it’s never time wasted, and I find myself longing more and more to sit quietly with our Lord.” †

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