February 19, 2018

The Annoying Impulse

Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman was the first cardinal to reside in England since the Reformation, the first archbishop of Westminster, and one of the chief architects of the 19th-century revival of Roman Catholicism in England. He was asked to help dedicate a chapel to be used for perpetual adoration. During his sermon for the occasion, he related the following story.

It seems there was a very distinguished German woman who was known for her piety and charity. In terms of faith, she was a Protestant. She was also very critical of and strongly opposed to the Catholic Church.

Once, while on a trip to Rome however, she happened into a church where perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was being practiced. She took note of the people there. Some stared intently toward the altar. Some lay prostrate on the ground before it. In looking at the altar, the only thing she noticed of any significance were the many candles, situated upon it, that were lit and glowing. She was completely unmindful of the real focus of the reverence she was amidst. She said to herself, “Great God, these people are surely not adoring the candles?”

Then, she felt some compulsion, some interior impulse, to kneel herself. Her reaction, though it undoubtedly included some elements of surprise, consisted primarily of great annoyance.

On another occasion, she had a quite similar experience.

It was a year later that she first learned of the One in whose presence she had been in those prior instances.

Afterwards, when recollecting the year in which she had rebuffed these callings of a special character, she cried.

Source: Etlin, Rev. Lukas, O.S.B., Eucharistic Miracles (Clyde, Missouri, Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration 1947), p. 51-52.


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