June 30, 2023

‘The Lord’s love is constant’

In the transition from college to adult life, woman finds peace where she once felt doubt

One of Rachel Levy’s favorite spots to take part in eucharistic adoration is in the Divine Mercy Chapel at the Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center in Bloomington. (Submitted photo)

One of Rachel Levy’s favorite spots to take part in eucharistic adoration is in the Divine Mercy Chapel at the Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center in Bloomington. (Submitted photo)

(Editor’s note: Many young adult Catholics experience the tremendous difference that eucharistic adoration makes in their life and their relationship with God. Here is another young adult’s story in this continuing series.)

By John Shaughnessy

When she looks back to her freshman and sophomore years at Indiana University in Bloomington, 25-year-old Rachel Levy is amazed at how far she has come in her relationships with God and the Catholic Church.

“I was going to church occasionally but questioning the teachings of the Church,” she recalls. “After getting involved in different student organizations at IU and hearing all these different opinions of the world, I was given this idea that the things the Catholic Church taught were very hateful.

“There were a couple of years of interior wrestling. When you have so many opinions coming at you in college, it’s hard to stay true to what the Church is teaching. Looking back, there was such a lack of joy. I was having fun living it up as a college student, but there was no actual pure joy that I was experiencing. I was just chasing after the next thing that would be fun for a little while.”

A change started to happen for her in her junior year when she met some young people who were on-campus missionaries for FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and other friends who introduced her to eucharistic adoration.

“The missionaries and other students explained to me what it was,” says Levy, a 2019 IU graduate. “They seemed to have some powerful experiences with it, and I was intrigued. I spent about an hour a week [in adoration]. You’re sitting right in front of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. What better environment to place yourself into—to open your heart and converse with Jesus.”

That experience—and her new friends that she worshipped with at St. Paul Catholic Center in Bloomington—also helped to wipe away the doubts she had about certain teachings of the Church.

“These missionaries and other people I met at St. Paul just continued to show me that what the Church teaches actually comes from a place of love. And Jesus Christ is the definition of love,” she says. “I was able to see the truth of what the Church teaches instead of all the lies that I convinced myself to believe as a freshman and a sophomore.”

Fast forward to the present, and the presence of eucharistic adoration continues to touch every part of her life—from her job as a marketing manager for a business to her ever-growing commitments to the Church.

Finding peace, even amid doubt

She serves as the chair for the Young Adult and Graduate Student Ministry at St. Paul, leads a Bible study group, and strives to help other young women in their faith lives.

Her embrace of eucharistic adoration has also increased, as she spends at least four hours a week in this bonding with Christ at a few places of worship in Bloomington: St. Paul, St. Charles Borromeo Church and Mother of the Redeemer Retreat Center.

“In the last year, as I’ve taken on more leadership roles, I’ve recognized my need to surrender everything I’m doing to the Lord. Just being able to sit in front of him and offer everything up to him. I say to him, ‘I’ll do everything I can, but ultimately, Jesus, I know I’m not going to be able to do anything without your help, and so I’m going to give all this to you.’

“I find a lot of peace in the questions I’m asking, a lot of peace in the answers I’ve come to.”

She finds that peace even in times of doubt.

“You can get to a point in your life where you’re feeling unworthy. There was a profound day when I went into adoration. I was feeling a lot of doubt about being able to lead anyone well in this capacity of being the chair of this young adult ministry and leading a Bible study and trying to help form other women.

“I had a very clear moment when the Lord spoke to me and just reminded me that he loved me. He always loves us to the greatest degree that anyone can ever love. So that was another moment of peace, knowing the Lord’s love is constant.”

Experiencing that love has led Levy to a place that once eluded her.

‘There’s no better way to spend an extra 30 minutes’

“I find a lot of joy in my life today. I even find small doses of joy in the little sufferings that I might go through. In moments of adversity that come up, I know that the Lord is with me, that there’s still a way to find joy in being united to Christ in those sufferings. Any opportunity to enter into suffering is an opportunity to pick up your cross and to just be with Jesus on the cross.”

Part of her joy also comes from looking back and seeing how far she has come in her relationship with Jesus since the early years of her college life.

“I’d say it comes up once a week in my regular prayer life, looking back on the last six years of my life and almost being moved to tears on several occasions. Just recognizing how much the Lord loves me, and all these small ways he gave me the grace to see truth and to understand him and to love him even more. What a powerful testimony, what a powerful witness to the power of prayer, to the power of intentional friendships. I’m just very grateful.”

Knowing the difference it’s making in her life, Levy encourages others to open themselves up to the gifts of eucharistic adoration.

“I would say to anyone else who’s working at a job in the secular world—or any adult—you’re never going to regret spending time with Jesus in eucharistic adoration. If you really enter into it, you’re almost always—if not always— going to leave just feeling even more united with Christ.

“There’s no better way to spend an extra 30 minutes you have than going and sitting with Jesus in the Eucharist and just adoring him and allowing him to look upon you as well, and just love you.” †

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