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‘My journey was just showing up’


March 1, 2023

By Mary Beth Bracy
Contributing Writer

“At the end of a homily Father Medenel (Angrand) was giving, he invited people, saying ‘Come taste and see’ and that was my journey with Eucharistic Adoration. I just tasted and saw and tried it, wanting to take another step in my journey in relationship with Christ. The first time I was in there (the chapel at St. John’s) it was revealing to me that process – so peaceful and meditative,” shared Adam Nathan Fleury, a Plattsburgh native.

Fleury is the owner and operator of the Ludus Combat Club (Ludi was a Roman gladiator school), which integrates faith into martial arts.

“We pray at the end of our training sessions,” Fleury said. “We’re all traumatized in this world. My goal is to help members, give them a skill set, make them go around like a lion. I incorporate Jesus and martial arts to make it a whole family. We are open six days a week Monday – Saturday. We train in strength, wrestling, boxing and Thai boxing.”

Fleury shares more than combat training with his students.

“I share the testimony of what I’ve experienced in my life,” he said. “I try to bring people to Church when I can. I’ve been blessed that some people come with me. The love of the Lord is growing with us in our martial community. More men are trying and seeing. I can only show the way and the path that people showed me. We bring people into prayer in our facility.”

Fleury said the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist transformed his life.

“When I’m in the Eucharistic Adoration chapel, I’m observant of my choices and each individual choice of my life,” he said. “That may be one of the only things that we have to choose: to serve our Lord or those who oppose our Lord. I don’t believe that choices are trivial anymore. Being there (at Adoration) is one of the most tangible connections to our Lord, much like in church when the Holy Spirit descends upon us. We’re being touched by the presence of God.”

When one of his friends invited him to go to Adoration, Fleury was hesitant at first. Now he’s been a scheduled weekly adorer for two and a half years.

“I was raised Catholic and became a born-again Christian in my teen years,” he said. “Then I was in the Army. I was sinful in nature, running around the world. Coming back to God, I had experience in meditation. (When I went to Adoration) I was transported immediately to the deepest states of meditation alone or with others – just staring at the Sacred Host. That was my initiation to adoring the Holy Eucharist. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week no matter what. It’s just what I need a lot of times. You do feel Jesus’ love for you intimately there.”

Several years ago, Fleury worked for the Department of Defense and State. He spent seven years in Thailand and then lived in the Philippines.

“I was making great money but terribly unhappy and didn’t want to do it anymore,” he said. “Redefining myself, I found clarity again on the road to God. Now I’m married with a son. One thing Jesus will give you is fulfillment.”

Fleury said his journey to Christ involved a number of detours and misdirections.

“I almost died in the Philippines in my early 30s,” he said. “I believed God was real when I was three or four and I had to circumvent back to that. Of course, I had pitfalls, and the lessons learned I would continue on the journey. I would read about the saints. It was just continuing on the path no matter what.”

Fleury explained what it is like to him to experience the power of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist at Adoration.

“I feel the presence of the Lord, right then and there when you enter the room, when you’re praying, when you’re meditating on His sufferings,” he said. “It’s hard to explain to a non-Catholic Christian. It’s a feeling in your heart. It’s meditative combined with an all-encompassing feeling of belonging and it’s wonderful.”

When he was in his early 30s, coming from war and poverty, Fleury reconnected with God.

“I really was up against it when I was journeying back to Jesus,” he said. “I had a deep connection through our Blessed Lady. My mother is truly a saint in my life. The first emissary I connected with was Our Lady. I was reading about the saints and Eastern texts. I said, ‘God please show me signs, I’m trying.’ I never had a St. Paul in the road experience. Mary came to me and whenever I called her for three weeks. It was like the greatest mother’s love of all time that you could feel was embracing and encompassing me in morning meditations and prayer. My experimentation was replaced with belief that I couldn’t remove anymore.”

Fleury doesn’t keep his belief to himself.

“I try to share this with people that might not believe and have some hardship,” he said. “I think there’s an answer for them. It’s left a yearning in my soul, and it brings it full circle to the Eucharistic Adoration. I want to know Jesus more and more, and I had a feeling that Jesus loved me but I was too much a sinner. I was not able to get out of my own way to be in His presence. My journey was through Mary to bring me to a place where I’ve removed sins from my life. I am thankful for that.”

Fleury said he continues to find strength and courage in the Mass and in the Eucharist.

“Whenever I’m at Mass and I receive the Eucharist, it’s like the ability to walk out and have the Holy Spirit with you and not placate the world – having the courage to speak up in these subtle areas, these gray areas,” he said. “The Holy Spirit fills me with courage. That’s some of what Jesus’ love has done for me, and He has cleansed me. I believe that there is a purification process for certain – like a detox you would do or in a sauna. I receive the Eucharist to go back into the world and to carry out God’s will.”

Fleury noted, though, that he has to put in work and dedication, as well.

“I told Jesus I would be there (for a specific time at Adoration weekly), and there were times when there was something needed at home, but things would work out,” he said. “If you want to further your relationship with Jesus it does take discipline. I don’t know many plans (God’s) but I would keep showing up. I would meet other adorers and we would have awesome talks, and it would cheer me up. It’s like walking, as it says in Luke: ‘Knock and the door shall be opened.’ We have to do what we said that we were going to do. You can’t expect to show up the first day and have a miracle happen. You need to continue to have growth and pour energy into that.”

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