When a priest adores

Do you realise that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart.” – St Thérèse of Lisieux

From Vultus Christi:

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Reading the biography of Virginie Danion (1819-1900), foundress of the community of L’Action de Grâces de Mauron, I came upon this excerpt of a letter written to her in November 1855 by the Bishop of Lucon, Monseigneur Jacques-Marie-Joseph Baillès (1798–1873). It so moved me that I translated it from the French. There is nothing, I think, as compelling as the sight of a priest in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. In an age of locked churches, of churches opened only for “services” — ah! the Protestant ring of that! — it is a rare thing. And yet, there is no more effective way of communicating to souls the truth about the Most Holy Eucharist.

I never go up into the pulpit without seeking to move [souls] to love of the Divine Eucharist, and I often recommend the visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Given that example speaks louder than words, I go habitually to recite Vespers, Compline, and later, Matins and Lauds before the Blessed Sacrament in the cathedral, and at nightfall I make a half-hour’s meditation there. The Lord will, I hope, bless these efforts, by stirring up in a greater number of souls the desire to visit the Blessed Sacrament. I say this only for you, so that your heart may be consoled by it. Persevere in your holy undertaking, in the midst of difficulties and contradictions. The railway cars are overflowing with travellers while the avenues leading to churches where the Holy Eucharist resides are deserted. This is truly the hidden and unknown God. Apply yourself to making Him known, praised, loved, blessed and welcomed.

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Ten further quotes from priests on Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament:

“A cloud of incense was rising on high; the people suddenly all bowed low; what could it mean? The truth flashed on him, fearfully yet sweetly; it was the Blessed Sacrament – it was the Lord Incarnate who was on the altar, who had come to visit and bless his people. It was the Great Presence, which makes a Catholic Church different from every other place in the world; which makes it, as no other place can be — holy.” (Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, in Loss and Gain: The Story of a Convert.) 

“How sweet is the moment in which poor humanity, wearied and afflicted, may remain alone, with Jesus alone, in the Sacrament of Love; for there the Lord, with His flaming heart open, calls unto all, ‘You that are burdened and heavy laden, come unto Me and I will refresh you.’ Happy are those hearts that know how to satisfy the unquenchable hunger and thirst in this heavenly banquet!” (Fr. M.J. Corcoran, O.S.A.)

“If the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus all for us, is it not the most legitimate of conclusions that we should be all for Him? We should be all for Jesus, if Jesus is our all. And what does this mean? Surely, among other things, that the Blessed Sacrament should be to us just the single overpowering fact of the world. Our hands hold Him; our words make Him; our tongue rests Him; our body compasses Him; our souls feel Him; our flesh feeds upon Him, Him, the Infinite, the Incomprehensible, the Immense, the Eternal. Must not all life be looked at in this light, just as the whole Church lies in this light and has no other?” (Fr. Frederick Faber, excerpt from The Blessed Sacrament)

“We adore Thee most holy Lord Jesus Christ, here in all Thy Churches, which are in the whole world, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.” (St. Francis of Assisi. N.B. He led his brothers in prostrating themselves and in proclaiming these words before every Church where Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament dwelt.)

“The purpose of Eucharistic adoration is the Divine Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ
[…] The adoration of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament is the end of the Church Militant, just as adoration of God in His glory is the end of the Church Triumphant. A holy rivalry, a concert of prayer, a harmony of divine service should exist between the heavenly court and the Eucharistic court here below, between the adorer and his mother the Church.” (St Peter Julian Eymard)

“All my sermons are prepared in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. As recreation is most pleasant and profitable in the sun, so homiletic creativity is best nourished before the Eucharist. The most brilliant ideas come from meeting God face to face. The Holy Spirit that presided at the Incarnation is the best atmosphere for illumination. Pope John Paul II keeps a small desk or writing pad near him whenever he is in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament; and I have done this all my life — I am sure for the same reason he does, because a lover always works better when the beloved is with him.” (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)

“Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is … an important daily practice and becomes an inexhaustible source of holiness […] It is pleasant to spend time with (Christ), to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple and to feel the infinite love present in His heart.” (St John Paul II in The Church and the Eucharist)

“The many wonders of creation can only fill us with astonishment and admiration. But when we speak of the Most Holy Eucharist we can say that here is to be found the miracle of divine love for us…. Has there been, or will there ever be, a nobler or more magnanimous love than that which He has shown us in the sacrament of love? […] When we go before the Blessed Sacrament, let us open our heart; our good God will open His. We shall go to Him; He will come to us; the one to ask, the other to receive. It will be like a breath from one to the other […] When we speak to Jesus with simplicity and with all our heart, He does like a mother who holds her child’s head with her hands and covers it with kisses and caresses.” (St. John Vianney)

“Oh, how beautiful a sight was it to behold our sweet Redeemer on that day when, fatigued by His journey, He sat down, all engaging and loving, beside the well to await the Samaritan woman, that He might convert and save her! Jesus, therefore, sat thus on the well. [John, iv. 6] It is precisely thus that this same Lord seems sweetly to dwell with us all the day long, having come down from Heaven upon our Altars as upon so many fountains of graces. where He awaits and invites souls to keep Him company, at least for a while, that He may thus draw them to His perfect love.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori)

“A Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament is worth more than a thousand years of human glory.” (St. Padre Pio)

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