Eucharist among teens is a rare sight.
I’m sure that some have seen this photo of about 300 young teens prostrating in front of the tabernacle. It is where literally Jesus is truly present would either:
A) Be amazed that this is still a thing.
B) Shocked that teens do recognize His REAL PRESENCE, or
C) Ignore completely the photo because they don’t understand what is happening.
I live in Panama, a small country in Central America. From the Thursday before Lent to early Ash Wednesday, we have a Carnival to celebrate. During this celebration, most people leave the city and either go to the countryside. Some even participate in the parades or go to the beach. Several people drink booze and commit other sins.
My family always loves to go to the beach and relax. Two years ago, I was confirmed, and one girl from my youth group invited me to a pre-Lenten retreat. Originally, I didn’t want to go because I wanted to go to the beach, but I agreed. The day of my confirmation was the due date for payments, and I hadn’t paid yet. My godmother of baptism gave me some money so I could spend it in whatever I chose, and I chose the retreat.
So, I went to the church office before 6p.m. mass on Saturday. It was my third Holy Mass that day, maybe I’ll tell you why on another post. For the sake of time, I’ll jump to my second time in the retreat. The trip from the city took us about two hours and a 20-minute walk before a sister from the religious community picked us up. The two friends with whom I went hadn’t gone there before so I gave them a tour through the enormous terrain of the community. If I had learned something from that place is that somewhere in one of the dozens of chapels they have, they would have our Lord exposed and so they did.
Dwelling deeper on the Eucharist Effects on Teens
That Saturday was when I received absolution after a stupid fall into sin. Because of that, I could not receive our Blessed Lord that last Sunday. I usually don’t receive the Blessed Sacrament kneeling due to orders of my spiritual director, but I couldn’t resist myself while seeing more than a dozen teens receive Him that way. Until that moment, the tabernacle of that chapel was empty and the small red light shaped like a candle was not lit at all.
But the priest opened the tabernacle after Holy Communion to reserve the Body of Christ and the small light lit. I felt a huge joy in my heart. I’m in love with the small symbol and signals of the Church, such as the candle or light beside the tabernacle. On that Sunday, after Holy Mass and dinner, we had Holy Hour. I’ve gone to several teen retreats and at Holy Hour rain falls.
If you see teens, you could believe they can endure everything, even those huge boys from the football team. I have seen even those in the ground crying before our Blessed Lord while being healed by his Divine presence. This Holy Hour was different; I heard no one cry. The only voices I heard were those of the priest and the choir. I felt as if I was in Heaven when he led us through the Kyrie Eleison. Yes, he sung the Kyrie. I hadn’t heard it outside of mass before.
After Holy Hour our Lord was exposed the whole night, there was even a list to made to be sure that he wouldn’t be alone for a single minute. I went by early Monday morning. On Monday, after Holy Mass and dinner, we again had another Holy Hour.
I believed that in the previous Holy Hour no one had cried due to fear or embarrassment, but again there was only silence. I had heard of contemplation before, but I hadn’t seen so many teens doing it: the eucharist among teens. This adoration was a “He sees me, I see him, and we are both in love”. Remember there were 300 teens there, all in silence, at by the presence of Our Lord in loving delightness. That is the Holy Eucharist among teens and it’s power. Again, after Holy Adoration, Our Lord was present for the rest of the night for contemplative prayer.
On Tuesday, we had as in the previous days preaching, this preaching was led by a well-known charismatic priest in Panama. I expected that we would end up speaking in tongues or receiving some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but no. He spoke about how teens are transformed by the Holy Spirit.
I don’t remember how or why, but he then linked it to Moses and the burning bush, I knew where he was
going so I took my sneakers (don’t judge me please, I had limited space on my
bag). Then he asked us to take off our shoes, as I predicted; He also asked us to stand up and reach as near as we could toward the tabernacle and then to prostrate and pray before Him so that we could be transformed and healed through his divine power.
In my life I hadn’t seen so many teens bowing faced to earth before Our Lord, nor receiving him kneeling, neither contemplating him. I only know that we are the now of God and that the Church has hope. Teens, if they are well catechized, or exposed to Our Blessed Lord, will recognize him and adore him.
Viva Cristo Rey.