Thursday, September 3, 2009
Eucharistic Adoration (The Holy Hour)
What is Eucharistic Adoration?
Understood simply, Eucharistic Adoration is adoring or honouring the Eucharistic Presence of Christ. In a deeper sense, it involves "the contemplation of the Mystery of Christ truly present before us".
During Eucharistic Adoration, we "watch and wait", we remain "silent" in His Presence and open ourselves to His Graces which flow from the Eucharist ... By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, The Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us.
In its fullest essence ... Eucharistic Adoration is "God and Man reaching out for each other, at the same time!"
The Eucharist is: Jesus truly present - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity!
At the moment of Consecration, during the Mass, the "gifts" of bread and wine are transformed (transubstantiated) into the actual Body and Blood of Christ, at the Altar. This is Real Presence: the actual, physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Christ instituted this Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist in order to remain with mankind until the end of time (Jn. 14:18).
The ( reserved ) Blessed Sacrament serves as a focal point of devotion.
Because, as Catholics, we believe that Christ is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament is given the same adoration and devotion that is accorded to Christ.
At the beginning of the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a priest or deacon removes the sacred host from the tabernacle and places it in the Monstrance on the Altar for adoration by the faithful. "Monstrance" is the vessel used in the Church to display the consecrated Eucharistic Host, during Eucharistic adoration or benediction. The word monstrance comes from the Latin word monstrare, meaning "to expose". It is known in Latin as an Ostensorium. When a consecrated host is placed in the monstrance, It is said to be a solemn exposition.
At all other times, the reserved Sacrament is kept locked in the Tabernacle, so that the faithful may pray in the presence of the Sacrament.
"Could you not watch one hour with Me?"
Jesus waits for us in the Blessed Sacrament. He waits for our little Acts of faith, adoration, love, thanksgiving, repentance and charity that we can offer Him as we contemplate -- His Divine Majesty -- in the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote: “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the Sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us”. The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: By not only celebrating the Eucharist, but also by praying before It outside of Mass, we are enabled to make contact with the very wellsprings of Grace ..."
Pope John Paul II in one of his homilies said, “It is pleasant to spend time with Him, to lie close to His breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in His heart ... If, in our time Christians must be distinguished by the “art of prayer”, how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual conversation, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament?”
"Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Are you tired because of the burden of your duties, because of frustration due to unsuccessful projects, because many misunderstand you? Are you heavy laden with guilt from past sins? Are you trying to find hope and meaning in life? Do not lose heart! Abandon yourself to Jesus in this "Sacrament of Love": He will refresh you! The more time you spend with Jesus, the more you will come away feeling renewed and healed.
Let us love being with the Lord! There we can speak with Him about everything. We can offer Him our petitions, our concerns, our troubles, our joys, our gratitude, our disappointments, our needs and our aspirations. Above all we can remember to pray: 'Lord send laborers into Your harvest! Help me to be a good worker in Your vineyard!'.
When asked "What would save the world?" ... Mother Teresa replied: "My answer is prayer. What we need is for every parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in holy hours of prayer."
"O God, You are my God -- for You I long!"
In Psalm 63, the Psalmist longs for the divine life given in the Temple, which is based on a close relationship with God. The Psalm most beautifully expresses the intimate relationship between God and the one who worships Him in His holy Temple.
Such must be OUR praise and total self-giving to Jesus, exposed on the Altar, for our sake!
"O God, You are my God -- for You I long! For You my body yearns; for You my soul thirsts, like a land parched, lifeless, and without water. So I look to You in the Sanctuary to see Your power and glory. For Your love is better than life; my lips offer You worship! I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands, calling on Your name. My soul shall savor the rich banquet of praise, with joyous lips my mouth shall honor You!"
"Remain in Me, as I remain in you."
Through our Adoration, Jesus calls us to a personal relationship (to become His friends and disciples), to "remain in Him" (Divine Intimacy), to "remain in His love" (Keep His commandments). He promises that all those who remain tightly bonded to Him, will bear much fruit and "their joy will be complete". For without Him, we can do nothing.
Through this "friendship", we are inspired and strengthened to take on life's challenges, to carry our daily cross with a new attitude, to become a "new creation" (more and more like Jesus).
"Love one another as I have loved you."
Eucharistic Adoration helps build a community of love. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of unity, Jesus unifying His people. Through the personal love, that one shares with the Saviour, one is more able to grasp the reality that we are the whole Body of Christ.
Prayers as a community, especially intercessory prayers for the needs of the community and the World - help to build a "civilization of love" - to "transform the World". The prayers that we say can draw the World and everybody in the World closer to Christ and to God the Father for His blessing.
Through Eucharistic Adoration - we proclaim Jesus to the World.
Eucharistic Adoration is an affirmation of our faith. Through this vigil of prayer, we give witness to our belief that God is truly dwelling with His people.
Jesus asks for so little! Yet, He gives so much!
"This - The Eucharist - the whole Christ" is His gift to all. Whether we are young or old, sick or healthy, poor or rich, only by regularly partaking in the sacrifice of the Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, can we reap immense spiritual and temporal blessings in our lives!
The Blessed Sacrament is the LIVING FOUNTAIN OF LIFE where we drink in the love of Christ Who alone quenches our thirst.
Come join us in Church, every first Thursday of the month at 7.30 pm after the 7.00 pm evening mass. May our adoration never cease!