On Nov, 3 2021
As Catholics, we have a profoundly special opportunity to experience the presence of Jesus in Adoration. It is something that sets our faith apart and brings a richness to our lives that cannot be replaced. Here's a quick guide to help you make the most of your time in Eucharistic Adoration!
If you’re looking for a place in scripture that tells it like it is when it comes to Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist look to John chapter 6. This is the famous discourse on The Bread of Life.
There’s no mincing words when it comes to the Eucharist and Jesus gets right down to it, explaining that He is the Bread come down from heaven. And that it is only through eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood in Holy Communion that we have eternal life within us.
“I am the living bread that came down from heave; whoever eat this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6)
Although it is clear what Jesus was offering, the gift of Himself, it was precisely at this point that many who had begun following him left. Apparently, the words were too hard to believe, much less accept.
Thankfully, there’s always been respect of the Body and Blood of Jesus since the early Church. It wasn’t however until the 12th and 13th century that Catholics began “adoring” Christ in the Eucharist. There’s no other denomination on the planet that believes what we believe about the Eucharist – that it’s the true presence of Jesus Christ!
Let's take a look at the meaning of Adoration, what exactly is it?
Here’s a good definition:
Adoration is a sign of devotion to and worship of Jesus Christ, who is believed by Catholics to be present in body, blood, soul, and divinity, under the appearance of the consecrated host, that is, sacramental bread.
And remember- ‘sacramental” means a tangible sign of a heavenly reality!
Here are some of the fundamentals:
- While there is no "one way" to pray, there are some helpful ways to grow in understanding and enhance the time we spend in Adoration and prayer!
- Your time with Jesus is your time with Jesus – there’s no prescribed list of things to do or say
- The length of time you spend with Jesus is not prescribed unless you are making a Holy Hour – more on that in a bit.
- Generally, Adoration is conducted in silence, unless you are along in the chapel and want to talk, pray and/or sing to Jesus
- An act of reverence directed at Jesus upon arrival and departure are common practice
Top 5 Adoration Tips:
- When St. John Vianney was asked what he did in Adoration he responded by saying, “I look at Jesus and he looks at me.” Consider just sitting quietly and looking/adoring Jesus.
- Adoration is an intimate moment. You can talk to Jesus about whatever is on your mind, whether it’s a need, complaint, or anything else spanning the range of what your life entails. Try journaling your thoughts and questions, and writing down any responses you hear from God.
- Put your earphones on and listen to some of your favorite praise and worship music while you sit before the Lord. This can help you tune out distractions and focus your mind totally on worshipping God. "Serve the Lord with gladness, come into His presence with singing." (Psalm 100:2)
- Pray the rosary! Consider using a guide to reflect on the mysteries of the rosary:
See: https://media.ascensionpress.com/2018/11/14/quick-meditations-on-every-mystery-of-the-rosary/ or check out our prayer book for some helpful rosary reflections!
- Consider making a habit of a regular Holy Hour:
The Holy Hour tradition officially goes back to 1674 when Christ appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque multiple times over a 13 month period. Christ’s appearances to this saint emphasized his human heart – how he loves as both human and divine. Christ instructed Alacoque to spend an hour every Thursday evening meditating on His sufferings in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Venerable Fulton J. Sheen a well-known modern-day bishop practiced the Holy Hour prayer for many years. He said of Holy Hour the following:
"I keep up the Holy Hour to grow more into his likeness … We become like that which we gaze upon. Looking into a sunset, the face takes on a golden glow. Looking at the Eucharistic Lord for an hour transforms the heart in a mysterious way as the face of Moses was transformed after his companionship with God on the mountain."
There are simple ways to practically organize a Holy Hour. Check out: https://hallow.com/2020/09/24/how-to-pray-holy-hour/ for a good format to begin with. You can also find many other resources online. Remember, you don’t have to any exact format-the important thing is that you just show up!
At the end of the day, no matter how much time you spend in Adoration, whether it is a regular hour or a quick five minute stop in between classes, know that it matters!
It matters to you, it matters to Jesus, and ultimately, it matters for your sanctification and future. How are we going to become who we were created to be if we don't regularly spend time with the One who created us?!
Blessed Carlo Acutis, known as the "Millennial Saint", has a beautiful quote that simplifies this well:
"When we face the sun we get a tan… but when we stand before Jesus in the Eucharist we become saints."
Another great example of this, is a man who comes to my daily adoration chapel often. He sits in the back for about two minutes and leaves. That’s it and it never changes. I don’t know what he does, but he is very faithful to his regular visit to Jesus. If you have a minute, go, and say hello. If you have more than a minute stick around if you can.
Take confidence in the fact that whatever commitment you make to spend some personal time with Jesus in Adoration, will be given back to you a hundredfold and reap abundant goodness in your life!