WHAT IS EUCHARISTIC ADORATION?
Eucharistic adoration is the act of worshipping God as He is present in the consecrated Eucharist. Since the Last Supper, when Jesus broke the bread and distributed the wine, saying, “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood”, Catholics have believed that the bread and wine are no longer merely baked wheat and fermented grape juice, but the actual living presence of the Second Person of the Trinity. Spending time before the Blessed Sacrament, in prayer and devotion, is exactly the same as spending time before the living God. Adoration occurs whenever someone kneels in front of a tabernacle that contains the Blessed Sacrament, genuflects towards a tabernacle, bows before receiving the Blessed Sacrament at Mass, or, in a more focused way, when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration.
THINGS TO DO DURING EUCHARISTIC ADORATION:
Fr Benedict Groeschel points out in “In the Presence of Our Lord: The History, Theology, and Psychology of Eucharistic Devotion” that there are ‘four kinds of prayer most appropriate in the presence of the Eucharist, namely adoration and praise, thanksgiving, repentance, and trusting intercession’. Here are suggestions what to do during private Eucharistic adoration.
1. PRAY THE PSALMS OR THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS
Whether you are praising, giving thanks, asking for forgiveness, or seeking an answer, you’ll find an appropriate psalm. The ancient prayer of the Church called the Liturgy of the Hours presents an excellent way to pray through the Book of Psalms throughout the year.
2. RECITE THE “JESUS PRAYER”
Say “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner”, repeatedly as you quiet your heart and mind.
3. MEDITATE USING SCRIPTURE
Choose a passage from the Bible. Read the words and ask God to let the passage speak to you. Pay special attention to anything that strikes you and ask God what He wishes for you to draw from that passage.
4. READ THE LIFE OF A SAINT AND PRAY WITH HIM OR HER
Most holy men and women have a great devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist. Therese of Lisieux, Catherine of Siena, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Julian Eymard, Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Baroness Catherine de Hueck are just a few. Read about them and pray their prayers before the Blessed Sacrament.
5. POUR OUT YOUR HEART TO CHRIST AND ADORE HIM
Speak to Jesus, aware that you are in His presence, and tell Him all that comes to your mind. Listen for His response. Pray the prayer that St Francis instructed his brothers to pray whenever they were before the Blessed Sacrament: “I adore you, O Christ, present here and in all the churches of the world, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”
6. ASK FOR FORGIVENESS AND INTERCEDE FOR OTHERS
Think of those who have hurt you and request a special blessing for them. Ask God to forgive you for all the times you have neglected or hurt someone else. Bring before the Blessed Sacrament all those who have asked you to pray for them. Ask the Lord to address their concerns.
7. PRAY THE ROSARY
Pope John Paul II reminds us, “…is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic Communion?” (The Church and the Eucharist, 55) Ask Mary to join you as you gaze on Christ in the Eucharist and as you pray the Rosary.
8. SIT QUIETLY AND JUST “BE” IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD
Think of a visit to the Blessed Sacrament as coming to see your best friend. Sit quietly and enjoy being in each other’s company. Instead of talking to the Lord, try listening to what He wants to tell you.