Thursday, November 6, 2008

Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

In an earlier post this week, I had mentioned that Adoration was going to be one of my top priorities. I decided to write a series dedicated to the practice of Adoration, as I believe it is one of the most accessible ways a Catholic has to be near to Jesus in prayer.

What is Adoration? It is the practice of spending time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, which is Jesus. Catholics believe that during the Consecration, the Host becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus. The Host is kept in a Monstrance, which looks like this:

    Our parish has Adoration on Thursdays. Some parishes have perpetual Adoration, where the Blessed Sacrament is always kept company by at least two people around the clock.

    The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament are a group of religious women who have dedicated their lives to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The Katharine Drexel shrine is the first place I encountered Adoration. This is a beautiful place and worthy of a post all of its own. (another installment, tba!)

    What do you do during Adoration? You can pray the Rosary, read devotionals, or just talk to Jesus as you would a friend. Or you can just sit silently. Many people do a combination of these. The most important thing to remember is that you are spending time with Jesus and His Real Presence in the Eucharist.

    Last week, as I looked around the Church and counted five other souls present, I was thankful that Jesus left us a way to be near to Him. I thought that if Jesus were standing there in the flesh, certainly I would not be able to get within miles of Him. But here, in the Blessed Sacrament, I can approach Him without the throngs of people who need visual evidence. My eyes of faith tell me that He is right here!

    (from the Medjugorje website:)

    Twelve Biblical Reasons for Spending Time in front of the Blessed Sacrament

    1. He is really there!"I myself Am the Living Bread come down from Heaven." (Jn 6:35)

    2. Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because of his Infinite love for you!"Behold I will be with you always even to the end of the world," because "I have loved you with an everlasting love, and constant is My affection for you." (Mt 28:20; Jer 31:3)

    3. The specific way that Jesus asks you to love Him in return is to spend one quiet hour with Him in the Blessed Sacrament."Where your treasure is, there is your heart...." "Could you not watch one hour with Me?" (Mt 6:21; 26:40)

    4. When you look upon the Sacred Host, you look upon Jesus, the Son of God."Indeed, this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day." (Jn 6:40)

    5. Each moment that you spend in His Eucharistic Presence will increase His Divine Life within you and deepen your personal relationship and friendship with Him."I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly." "I am the Vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in Him shall bear much fruit because without Me, you can do nothing." (Jn 15:5)

    6. Each hour you spend with Jesus will deepen His Divine Peace in your heart."Come to Me all of you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you..." "Cast all of you anxieties upon the One who cares for you..." "My Peace is My Gift to you." (Mt 11:28; 5:7; Jn 14:17)

    7. Jesus will give you all the Graces you need to be happy!"The Lamb on the Throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water." (Rev 7:17)

    8. Jesus is infinitely deserving of our unceasing thanksgiving and adoration for all He has done for our salvation."Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive honor, glory and praise." (Rev. 5:12)

    9. For Peace in our country!"When My people humble themselves and seek My Presence... I will revive their land." (2Chr 7:14)

    10. Each hour you spend with Jesus on earth will leave your soul everlastingly more beautiful and glorious in heaven!"They who humble themselves shall be exalted...." "All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into His very image." (Lk 18:14; 2Cor 3:18)

    11. Jesus will bless you, your family and the whole world for this hour of faith you spend with Him in the Blessed Sacrament."Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe..." "Faith can move mountains..." " What is needed is trust... " "Behold I come to make all things new." (Jn 20:29; Mk 11:23; Mk 5:36; Rev 21:5)

    12. Each moment you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament brings joy, pleasure, and delight to His Sacred Heart!"My joy, My pleasure, My delight is to be with you." (Prov 8:31)

    Eucharistic Adoration By: Pope John Paul II
    I encourage Christians regularly to visit Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament, for we are all called to abide in the presence of God. In contemplation, Christians will perceive ever more profoundly the mystery at the heart of Christian life.
    Teach young people the value of Eucharistic Adoration.
    I urge priests, religious and lay people to continue and redouble their efforts to teach the younger generations the meaning and value of Eucharistic adoration and devotion. How will young people be able to know the Lord if they are not introduced to the mystery of His presence? Like the young Samuel, by learning the words of the prayer of the heart, they will be closer to the Lord, who will accompany them in their spiritual and human growth. The Eucharistic mystery is in fact the "summit of evangelization" (Lumen Gentium) for it is the most eminent testimony to Christ’s resurrection.

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