In the exploration of my faith over the past few years one very special thing has always stood out. I first experienced Eucharistic Adoration when I was 18 years old, when I agreed at my mother’s request (albeit reluctantly) to fill in a spot vacated by someone at the local parish who was ill. Fast forward over 7 years and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has become such an important part of my life. Even while traveling all around the world, nothing can bring me the comfort and warmth my heart desires like being at the foot of the altar in prayer. With churches and chapels spread across the world, it’s so beautiful to know that wherever I am, Our Lord is somewhere close by.
What exactly is Eucharistic Adoration and what is so special about it though? Simply put, it is a beautiful practice in our Catholic Church that is centred on its teaching of Jesus Christ being fully present in the consecrated host. Adoration is time spent in prayer and reflection before the Eucharist, which is then left exposed on the altar in a vessel called a monstrance.
The reason why I love adoration so much is because it allows me a space to have a conversation with God. In points of trial and suffering it is the only thing that can feed my soul and get me through tough times. Even if the world turned on me, I know that right there in the Blessed Sacrament lies Jesus, always waiting for me. Deep down everyone wants to be loved, and that’s how it feels in adoration. I feel loved. Having spent a lot of time traveling or living overseas in various countries on my own, there have been times of discomfort and difficulty; of loneliness and feeling lost. Somehow however, I always found myself gravitating toward a church in search of God found in the Eucharist. It is there where I feel safe. I feel loved.
Over the years Eucharistic Adoration developed into a routine for me. While it has been and continues to be an amazing opportunity to pour my heart out in prayer, I’ve also come to the realisation that it’s a great chance for me to listen as well. Sometimes we get so caught up in asking for things and trying to say it in the right way and forget that prayer is a two way conversation with God. To hear how He speaks to our hearts, it’s important to fully embrace the silent moments with Jesus when they come. In our busy world where people are so attached to their mobile phones, Eucharistic Adoration is a wonderful opportunity to spend time in reflection and rest, away from the distractions and stresses of everyday life.
St. Catherine Laboure, one of the great saints of the 19th century, puts it so beautifully saying, “Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our good Lord, and I say to him, ‘Lord, I am here. Tell me what you would have me to do’ . . . And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart. I tell him about my pains and my joys, and then I listen. If you listen, God will also speak to you, for with the good Lord, you have to both speak and listen. God always speaks to you when you approach him plainly and simply.”
Hopefully through reading this you’ve been encouraged to find out more about Eucharistic Adoration and seek it out. Jesus is always there waiting for us to come and visit, ready to pour out graces on those who come to adore Him. There are so many benefits that come through spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, even if for a short while, if only we are willing to spend some time with Him.
“Could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40-41)