Eucharistic Adoration – a fount of heavenly graces

“Let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight; the lifting up of my hands, as evening sacrifice” – (Psalm 141:2)

Eucharistic-Adoration

St.  Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897): “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.”

I believe these impassioned words of St. Thérèse were written because she was saddened seeing Our Blessed Lord often left alone in tabernacles in empty churches and chapels, although the sanctuary light burned its red glow reminding men of the Sacred Presence within.

Saints and holy men throughout the ages have received abundant graces from silent prayer of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament – what we now call “Eucharistic Adoration”. It is impossible to over-stress the importance of this holy fount of heavenly blessings and outpouring of Divine Love. The God of all Creation, Who in His Trinitarian Perfection, has no need of Man, still humbly awaits our coming to spend a little time in His Holy Presence so that He may shower us with His Loving gifts. Who can resist the call?  Thus, when kneeling in adoration before Our Lord and King exposed in the monstrance (or hidden within all the tabernacles of the world) our every holy thought, prayer and petition rises straight to His Sacred Heart. Our every concern for our loved ones, for all the needs of Holy Mother Church and the world, and indeed, for ourselves too, is taken care of. If we grow in the pious practice of this blessed devotion, we shall find that gradually our own self-awareness fades into the background as the glory and secret sweetness of God is revealed to us. (This is often known as “contemplation”.) We are never closer to the Divine Presence than when we reverently receive His Sacred Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion, and when we come to “sit and pray with Him a while” in Eucharistic Adoration.

Should we not drop everything to keep at least a few minutes of every day in such a hallowed spot as in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament? Jesus tells us this is “the better part“. Should this not be the most important part of our daily lives therefore, instead of making the effort only when we can fit it in around all our busy-ness and when we have nothing more pressing to do? I regret to say I am often foolishly guilty of choosing to be a “Martha” rather than a “Maria”!

Venerable Fulton Sheen, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St Padre Pio (to mention just three holy people of our own era) plus countless saints in the history of the Church, found the “pearl of great price“, to be found nowhere else on earth. They led some of the busiest lives of people anywhere, and yet they would let nothing deter them from spending a daily hour alone with Our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration. They reaped countless rewards for their unstinted loyalty and love.

(N.B. Even those who are truly unable to be physically present before the Blessed Sacrament may be spiritually transported to adore God in His Eucharistic Presence among us.)

St. Alphonsus Liguori tells us,”How great is the sweetness which a soul experiences, when, in the time of prayer, God, by a ray of his own light, shows to her his goodness and his mercies towards her, and particularly the love which Jesus Christ has borne to her in his passion! She feels her heart melting, and, as it were, dissolved through love. But in this life we do not see God as he really is: we see him, as it were, in the dark. ‘We see now through a glass in a dark manner, but then face to face.’ (1 Cor. xiii. 12.) Here below God is hidden from our view; we can see him only with the eyes of faith: how great shall be our happiness when the veil shall be raised, and we shall be permitted to behold God face to face! We shall then see his beauty, his greatness, his perfection, his amiableness, and his immense love for our souls.”

Q. Why does Christ give us His own body and blood in the Holy Eucharist?

A. Christ gives us His own body and blood in the Holy Eucharist: first, to be offered as a sacrifice commemorating and renewing for all time the sacrifice of the cross; second, to be received by the faithful in Holy Communion; third, to remain ever on our altars as the proof of His love for us, and to be worshipped by us. (Baltimore Catechism, no. 356) 

Fr Willie Doyle wrote these endearing words in his diary shortly after his ordination: “Lord, You know I love you less than any other, but I long and desire to love You more than all the rest. Take my heart, dear Lord, and hide it in Your own. so that I may only love what You love and desire what You desire. May I find no pleasure in the things of this world, its pleasures and amusement; but may my one delight be in thinking of You, working for You, loving You and staying in Your sweet presence before the Tabernacle. Why do You want my love, dear Jesus, and why have You left me no rest all these years till I gave You at last my poor heart to love You, and You alone? This ceaseless pleading for my love fills me with hope and confidence that, sinful as my life has been in the past, You have forgiven and forgotten it all. Thanks a million times, dearest Jesus, for all Your goodness. I will love and serve you now till death.”

There are an abundance of passionate quotes from the saints expressing their awe, delight and love for Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Here are just a few examples:

St. Anselm (1033-1109), “O delicious Bread, heal my heart that I may taste the sweetness of Thy love; deliver it from lukewarmness, that it may taste no other sweetness than in Thee alone.”

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), “No one could express the ineffable sweetness of this mystery, by which we taste of spiritual delights at their very source.”

St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), “By virtue of this sacrament, my heart is so inflamed that material fire seems to me cold in comparison; I am so filled with joy that I can no longer contain myself, and I am astonished not to see my whole being dissolve.”

St. John Berchmans (1599-1621), “O Jesus, my dear Master!  what is there after divine communion that can give me pleasure and content?”

St. Jean-Marie Vianney (1786-1859), “When we receive Holy Communion, we receive our joy and our happiness.”

From an ancient prayer:

O Divine Jesus, lonely tonight in so many Tabernacles, without visitor nor worshipper…I offer Thee my poor heart. May its every throb be an act of love for Thee. Thou art always watching beneath the Sacramental Veils in Thy Love. Thou dost never sleep and Thou art never weary of Thy vigil for sinners. O lonely Jesus, may the flame of my heart burn and beam always in company with Thee.
O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

 

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15 Responses to Eucharistic Adoration – a fount of heavenly graces

  1. Robert says:

    Thank you for one who knows!

  2. John says:

    Eucharistic adoration appears to be a comforting practice for the ultra pious ; but the ordinary Catholic’s obligation to the Eucharist is fulfilled by taking the sacrament once a year in Easter time.

  3. GC says:

    The Catholics I know who attend Eucharistic adoration are fairly ordinary Catholics, Mr Kehoe; at least there appears to be nothing extraordinarily extraordinary about them.

  4. Robert says:

    John
    Eucharistic Adoration means simply to be in His Eucharistic Presence and accord Him the Love and Adoration due to God.
    There once was a time when you could go to any Catholic church/cathedral and Our Lord was there in the Tabernacle, Sadly that is not now the Case.
    As for that derisory and frankly superior platitude ” a comforting practice for the ultra pius..” Shame on you. You will find those sentiments accord with those of Henry VIII’s Reformers.
    Immanuel means God with Us, not some remote hypothetical, philosphical abstraction defied by pagan fanatics No. Our Lord is with Us in the Eucharist (really and truly alive and with Us) till the consummation of the world.
    I really recommend spending quiet moments with Him because He is so neglected even in His own House.

  5. John says:

    Robert,

    The very words of Our Lord in instituting the Blessed Sacrament were ‘Take and eat’ and ‘Take and drink’ ; nothing at all about retaining the sacred species in a receptacle for later viewing..
    The related practice of Benediction.of the Blessed Sacrament was terminated after Vatican I! in the Diocese I then lived in for the stated reason that it was ‘not liturgical’, evening Mass then becoming available.
    Staring steadily up at what- as the Church readily admits- can only be perceived by the bodily senses of sight, touch and taste as no more than bread, albeit consecrated, in the monstrance, faith apart, does not inspire me. Why try to improve on the Lord’s command ‘Take and eat’ ‘Take and drink’ ?

    Why not just go to Mass and,in faith, receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ as was originally divinely mandated ? I don’t see anything shameful in holding that view.

    Nothing at all wrong with the ultra pious. That is their way. I live at a much lower level of emotional religious practice.

  6. The Raven says:

    What dreary, impoverished minimalism, John.

    Our Lord tells us that the consecrated host is His body. Whether we receive communion or not, we are in His presence when we kneel before the sacrament, if you have no way of perceiving that, then I am truly sorry for you.

  7. Robert says:

    Well John let me take you to the Temple in Jerusalem and present the Shekinah prescence of God in the Holy of Holies (veiled in the inner sanctum of the Temple). The veil that was torn on the Death of Our Lord since God’s presence had left there and went to Rome.

    It was God’s presence in the Temple which was the centre of Jewish Life and ritual (the only place where ritual blood sacrifice took place). This was why the Jews regularly went to the Temple and why for instance Our Lady Presented Our Lord !

    Our Lord remained with Us nolonger in once place but now all over the world in His Eucharist Tabernacle.

    As Our Lord said to His Disciples “Could you not watch one hour with Me?”
    You reply is that you ” live at a much lower level of emotional religious practice.” . You will not find emotional religious practice with this Adoration, instead you will find an antidote to wordly materialism.

    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?”

    Our Lord is a living reality not a God of stone and mythology, He is to be found (sadly all to often neglected and alone) in the Eucharist.

    The Blessing of the Sick in Lourdes was traditional with the Blessed Sacrament.

  8. John says:

    I would prefer to receive and consume the Blessed Sacrament any day, as was the original mandate of the Saviour Himself, no matter what later saints and commentators His creatures have said, rather than kneeling around, or sitting around, transfixed and staring up at the monstrance in a vain attempt at outdoing the explicit instructions given by the Lord.

  9. GC says:

    You are suspected of extremely discriminatory later-saints-and-commentators-ism, Mr Kehoe, which surely constitutes a suppression of their basic human rights, blast you (with all due respect).

  10. John says:

    Oh, dear me, GC do you really have to use violent language, such as ‘blast you” to sustain your argument ? Good job I am case hardened.

    In order to advance your claim that I am denying historic saints their basic human rights you would have to specifically identify which Articles of which International Human Rights Conventions have been breached by me. All too many people cry ‘human rights’ without being specific as to the Articles of the Conventions in question.

    The saints so far mentioned on this page, I guess, are well able to defend their corner.

    i

  11. I can relate to strength and serenity as the two main gifts I came out with after daily exercises of Eucharistic Adoration in a Catholic community.

  12. kathleen says:

    Thank you, Amravin, for this disclosure. Only those who have ‘let go’ of themselves, and allowed Our Lord to fill their hearts and souls with His fathomless love and blessings instead, can understand the enormous value of Eucharistic Adoration.

    Another wonderful entry on the blog dedicated to the memory of Fr Willie Doyle today. In describing the “Moment of Benediction”, Fr Wiilie says:

    “The priest turns and raises aloft the Sacred Host. In loving adoration, in reverent awe, the invisible angels fall prostrate. The bell tinkles softly, fragrant clouds of sweet-smelling incense ascend on high, and in the remotest corner of the vast church every head is bowed in adoration. It is a solemn moment, a moment when the silent streams of grace pour down upon our souls. God’s hands are lifted up to bless us; His sacred face is turned upon us, and He waits oh ! so eagerly for us to ask some favour that He may win our hearts by His generosity. Let us ask, then, confidently and show our trust in God’s great goodness by the boldness of our requests.”

    Read the rest there.

  13. toadspittle says:

    GC never says “Blast you!” (Not out loud, anyway) to Toad.
    Teeth-gnashing and garment-rending thrown in for hightened drama, I shouldn’t wonder.
    Why is this overqualified upstart so favoured?
    I think we should be told.

  14. GC says:

    It was me having a stab at “outrage”, Toad, at John’s flagrant ultrapious-catholics-ism and what-not. Obviously I fluffed it, but I’m told that to get anywhere on the twittersphere and suchlike these days you have to do “outrage” fairly well. But I hear that in Ireland people fear that everyone there is now “outraged out”.

  15. toadspittle says:

    Probably true, Kathleen.
    I’m also told, “If you can fake sincerity – you’ve got it made.”

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