What is adoration?
The Eucharist is the gift given us by Jesus of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearances of bread and wine. He veils His infinite glory, His radiant beauty and His majesty because He wants us to approach Him in faith and to love Him for His own sake. The Eucharist is truly : “the mystery which sums up all of the wonders accomplished by God for our salvation.” (cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, De sacr. Euch., chap. I).
“The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God’s infinite love for every man and woman. This wondrous sacrament makes manifest that “greater” love which led him to “lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). Jesus did indeed love them “to the end” (Jn 13:1). In those words the Evangelist introduces Christ’s act of immense humility: before dying for us on the Cross, he tied a towel around himself and washed the feet of his disciples. In the same way, Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us “to the end,” even to offering us his body and his blood. What amazement must the Apostles have felt in witnessing what the Lord did and said during that Supper! What wonder must the eucharistic mystery also awaken in our own hearts! » (Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 1)
“The mystery of the Eucharist—sacrifice, presence, banquet—does not allow for reduction or exploitation; it must be experienced and lived in its integrity, both in its celebration and in the intimate converse with Jesus which takes place after receiving communion or in a prayerful moment of Eucharistic adoration apart from Mass. These are times when the Church is firmly built up…” (John-Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 61)
Ways in Which Christ is Present as taught by Pope Paul VI in Mysterium Fidei:
« All of us realize that there is more than one way in which Christ is present in His Church… Christ is present in His Church when she prays, since He is the one who “prays for us and prays in us and to whom we pray: He prays for us as our priest, He prays in us as our head, He is prayed to by us as our God” ; and He is the one who has promised, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” He is present in the Church as she performs her works of mercy, not just because whatever good we do to one of His least brethren we do to Christ Himself, but also because Christ is the one who performs these works through the Church and who continually helps men with His divine love. He is present in the Church as she moves along on her pilgrimage with a longing to reach the portals of eternal life, for He is the one who dwells in our hearts through faith, and who instills charity in them through the Holy Spirit whom He gives to us… In still another very genuine way, He is present in the Church as she preaches, since the Gospel which she proclaims is the word of God… He is present in His Church as she rules and governs the People of God, since her sacred power comes from Christ… He is present in her as she administers the sacraments…These various ways in which Christ is present fill the mind with astonishment and offer the Church a mystery for her contemplation. But there is another way in which Christ is present in His Church, a way that surpasses all the others. It is His presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is, for this reason, “a more consoling source of devotion, a lovelier object of contemplation and holier in what it contains” than all the other sacraments; for it contains Christ Himself and it is “a kind of consummation of the spiritual life, and in a sense the goal of all the sacraments.” (Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, no : 35-39)
What is Eucharistic Adoration?
“Adoration is not a luxury but a priority… ” Benedict XVI, Angelus, 28 August 2005)
“Adoration is of inestimable value in the life of the Church… « (John-Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 25)
“Eucharistic Adoration has for its object the divine person of Our Lord Jesus Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament. He is alive, He wants us to speak to Him and He will speak to us. And this dialogue of love between the soul and Our Lord is the true Eucharistic meditation, it is adoration. Happy the soul who knows how to find Jesus in the Eucharist and in the Eucharist all things.” (Saint Peter-Julian Eymard) Adoration is a way of bearing witness to our love for Jesus who in His great love remains with us day and night in the Blessed Sacrament. Has he not said : « Behold I am with you always » and « I have loved you with an everlasting love… » (Mt 28, 20; Jr 31, 3).
Eucharistic Adoration prepares for and prolongs the Eucharistic Celebration. (Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 66)
According to Pope Benedict XVI the two etymologies of the word « adoration » correspond to its two dimensions: « The Greek word is proskynesis. It refers to the gesture of submission, the recognition of God as our true measure, supplying the norm that we choose to follow. It means that freedom is not simply about enjoying life in total autonomy, but rather about living by the measure of truth and goodness, so that we ourselves can become true and good. This gesture is necessary even if initially our yearning for freedom makes us inclined to resist it. We can only fully accept it when we take the second step that the Last Supper proposes to us. The Latin word for adoration is ad-oratio – mouth to mouth contact, a kiss, an embrace, and hence, ultimately love. Submission becomes union, because he to whom we submit is Love. In this way submission acquires a meaning, because it does not impose anything on us from the outside, but liberates us deep within. » (Benedict XVI, Homily WYD, Cologne 2005)
Testimony of a parishioner : “Since all goes very quickly at the Mass, adoration is like a pause button that allows me to live more intensely this passing moment of grace…”
What is Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration?
It is when a parish has a Chapel open 24/7 with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Perpetual adoration is simply our response of love to Jesus. Each parishioner is invited to consecrate an hour of the week to Eucharistic Adoraiton ; thus there is established an unceasing chain of prayer, adoration and intercession for the Church and the world. In the world today there are hundreds and perhaps even thousands of parishes with Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. Pope Benedict has recently referred to a springtime of Eucharistic Adoration in the Church. « As we recall Saint Juliana of Cornillon, let us renew our faith in Christ’s true presence in the Eucharist and pray that the ‘springtime of the Eucharist’ which we are witnessing in the Church today may bear fruit in an ever greater devotion to the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. » (Papal Audience, Nov 17, 2010)
“How bénéficial is the rediscovery by so many Christians of Eucharistic Adoration… Humanity has great need to rediscover this Sacrement, the source of all hope ! Let us thank the Lord for all of the parishes which along with the Mass also educate the faithful in this adoration… I strongly recommend to the pastors of the Church and to the People of God the practise of Eucharistic Adoration, whether it be personal or communal… (Benedict XVI, invitation to the Eucharistic Congress, Québec )
« Wherever possible, it would be appropriate, especially in densely populated areas, to set aside specific churches or oratories for perpetual adoration. » (Benoît XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 67)
« It is highly recommended that at least in the cities and the larger towns the diocesan Bishop should designate a church building for perpetual adoration; in it, however, Holy Mass should be celebrated frequently, even daily if possible, while the Exposition should rigorously be interrupted while Mass is being celebrated. » (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 140, 2004)