Another sacred space in the heart of Chicago. A different experience sort out today. However, the adoration space is inside the church proper – off to the right:
This church host the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy and a 24/7 adoration chapel. The picture above captures the familiar Blessed Sacrament or Sacred Host (Eucharist in center shrouded by crown of thorns). The chapel here though is an “iconic monstrance” depicting symbols of Christian thought and theology based on scripture from Isaiah and Revelation. The details are too many too enumerate here including Mary (as the sign of God’ promise), the ark of the covenant, red and blue garments, and so many smaller symbols embedded with meaning, making interpretation in a post impossible. One can draw analogy to Christ parables – it is in plain sight – but meaning can escape the undisciplined eye.
The larger church is equally as grandiose and represents a diverse population as well:
Despite its elegance, it always comes back to believers and the presence of God. “No one can fail to understand that the Divine Eucharist bestows upon the Christian people an incomparable dignity.” Believers stand guard and present while the Blessed Host is exposed and present for adoration. Churches vary according to volunteers – but ideally it is 24/7 adoration.
My favorite art is on the ceiling:
No picture can capture the activity of prayer or adoration. It is a lived experience. What is more is no matter what you do as an individual, no matter your worth, you cannot define the mercy and the power of God or of the Eucharist.
What can one experience when in the depths of prayer? If we are fortunate to have a relationship with God and the fortitude to maintain God at the helm, when we are faced with adversity and challenge, a good prayer can lead to the following sentiments:
“It requires an audacity we did not know we had. It demands a commitment to the truth. It leads to self-knowledge. It builds forbearance. It test our purity of heart. It brings total metamorphosis of soul. If we are willing to persevere through the depths of struggle we ca emerge with conversion, independence, faith, courage, surrender, self-acceptance, endurance, purity of heart, and a kind of personal growth that takes us beyond pain to understanding.” (Joan D. Chittister – (Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope).”
The above depiction is a review of the story of Jacob’s wrestle with God in Genesis. It was a struggle he had alone. Many of our struggles, despite people with good intentions (and not so good) around us, require us to walk the walk of faith alone and pray for grace, mercy, and resolution.