The Practice of Eucharistic Adoration
We push forward in Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI’s 2007 Apostolic Exhortation on the Holy Eucharist (Sacramentus Caritatis ¶67) as being the Source and Summit of our Christian faith and shall discuss the very practice of Eucharistic Adoration itself. We would do well to first remind ourselves that Eucharistic Adoration is an extension of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Our proper and due worship to almighty God finds it’s fullness in the liturgical celebration and is thus continued, if you will, with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Pope Benedict “heartily” recommends to the Church’s pastors and people the practice of Adoration; understanding the great benefits derived from such worship. He stresses the importance of catechesis which explains the fruitfulness of this act of worship. He explains that, for example, in preparation for First Holy Communion children need to be taught the meaning a beauty of spending time with Jesus, and help to cultivate a sense of awe before His presence in the Eucharist.
Adults as well, whether cradle Catholics who have been sacramentalized but never catechized, those coming into full communion with the Church from other Christian communities, and even the un-churched who have never been given Gospel message. All of these were created to unite themselves with God, their Creator who loves them, in order to receive, understand and give due worship to the One who can alone satisfy their hungry hearts.
The Eucharist, if at Holy Mass and in Adoration, is the center of our lives; both physically and spiritually. For God does not tend to one and while ignoring the other. Our Lord promised us that He would be with us until the end of age (Mt. 28:20) and so He is. We have been given a supreme gift, a gift that’s sometimes, I think, misunderstood, or taken for granted. The power that comes from the ultimate act of worship (the Holy mass) with it’s always available extension, serves to show us the pathway to lasting happiness. But we must put forth the time and effort to understand how to come to our Lord on His terms, and not our own. Once we do, through catechesis and apostolic prayer and fervor, we will discover our true purpose and meaning of our lives. Let our hearts never grow weary! “Come to Me,” says the Lord to us, “all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Mt. 11:28-29)
NEXT WEEK: Forms of Eucharistic Devotion