What is Adoration?
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh… For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” John 6:51-55 (Navarre)
For the past 2000 years, Catholics have believed that Jesus is truly present in the most Holy Eucharist, just as He taught in the Gospel of John. We believe that at each celebration of the Mass, bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Although they still have the outward appearances of bread and wine, what they are… their “substance”… has changed. Therefore, Jesus comes to be present with us not only spiritually, but physically. In the bread and wine of the Eucharist, Jesus is just as present with us as He was 2000 years ago when He walked the earth.
Therefore, if Jesus is truly present (body, blood, soul, & divinity) in the most Holy Eucharist, then we can gaze upon Jesus and worship Him in His physical presence. We are blessed with the awesome opportunity to worship Jesus through Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, or most Holy Eucharist! In the many churches that have this adoration, the Eucharist is displayed in a special holder called a monstrance, and people come to pray and worship Jesus continually, at all hours of the day and night. Christ’s great love for us was shown when He was crucified on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and give us eternal life. He loves us without limit, and offers Himself to us in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. Can we not give Jesus a few minutes of love and adoration in return?
St. Faustina Kowalska once had a vision of the Eucharist sending a ray of light into the hearts of those who spent time in this devotion, to purify and renew them. After starting regular Eucharistic Adoration, many parishes experience a renewal of their community life, an increase in vocations, an increase in converts and the return of fallen-away Catholics, a new appreciation for Mass and the other sacraments, and many other spiritual benefits. Individuals also experience a renewal and strengthening of their family relationships, and a deepening of their prayer life: they come to appreciate the chance to slow down, relax, and talk to God in a quiet, peaceful setting.