The adoration of the Holy Eucharist is a devotion we have instituted in our parish for the past two and half years. It is a powerful devotion designed to grow us, both as individuals and as a parish, spiritually. I therefore want to reflect on this devotion, as a means of educating our parishioners about Eucharistic Adoration, and thereby encouraging all of us to fall in love with it.
You know, one of the most prominent declarations of the Council of Trent (that is the gathering of the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, priests, laity and theologians, to define and clarify Catholic doctrine and teaching) is that “The only-begotten Son of God is to be adored in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist with the worship of "latria" and that the Sacrament is to be publicly exposed for the people's adoration”. Explaining this further, the Sacred Congregation on Rites, in their statement on the “Instruction on Eucharistic Worship” on May 25th, 1967 stated: "The exposition of the Blessed Sacrament,…stimulates the faithful to an awareness of the marvelous presence of Christ and is an invitation to spiritual communion with Him. It is therefore an excellent encouragement to offer Him that worship in spirit and truth which is His due.”
Pope John Paul II, in his exhortation “Dominicae Cenae” said that “The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration”. Then speaking to a gathering in Phoenix Park, during a three-day visit to Ireland in 1979, he said, “The visit to the Blessed Sacrament is a great treasure of the Catholic faith. It nourishes social love, gives us opportunities for adoration and thanksgiving, for reparation and supplication.”
It used to customary for Catholics, young and old, on their way home from work or school, on their way to the grocery store or a sports practice, to "stop in for a visit" to the Blessed Sacrament in their local church. Like them, we ought to take to heart what the Church teaches, that by "By worshipping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, The Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us."
I truly believe that the best time we can ever spend in this world is the time we spend with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical “Mysterium Fide” had this to say: "How great is the value of conversation with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, for there is nothing more consoling on earth, nothing more efficacious for advancing along the road of holiness!" My friends, it is true that we can pray to God anywhere and that God lives within us. Yet, there is something powerful about adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament because in the presence of the Eucharist, we have before us, truly and substantially, the power of the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, and we receive, in a very unique and mysterious way, the incredible spiritual strength and nourishment that is contained therein. Let us continue this reflection next week in this column where I will outline the tremendous benefits of Eucharistic Adoration.