Practical Evangelization Tip #16
Spend Time in Eucharistic Adoration
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“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.” John 4:23 RSV-CE
“The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” John 6:52-58
Why it Works:
Jesus Christ is truly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist. You do not receive bread at Mass, but the Bread of Life. What you receive is not wheat and flour but Jesus Himself who is worthy of all honor, glory, and adoration.
Before I started attending Mass on a regular basis, I went to Eucharistic Adoration at the local perpetual adoration chapel. Yes, a baptist in a perpetual adoration chapel. I would go about once a week and spend an hour in prayer asking Jesus to reveal himself to me, if he was truly present in the Eucharistic host. Even if he wasn’t truly present I found the chapel a quiet place to get away from the bustle of life to sit in silence without distraction. I had tried to go to my baptist church to do the same thing, but the pastors were confused. I could pray anywhere I wanted to, there was no reason to come to the church to pray. That was only for communal worship.
Jesus spent months slowly working on my heart until my wife and I finally started attending Mass on a regular basis and eventually made the decision to become Catholic. By the time we got to RCIA we were already converts and a great deal of that conversion happened in the silence of Adoration. Jesus revealed himself to me through our friends who explained the faith and gave us intellectual permission to become Catholic. Jesus revealed himself to me in Adoration when he set my heart on fire with his love and gave me a peace I have never known before. Jesus revealed himself to my wife in the Mass when she saw the Word become flesh and dwell among us.
Evangelists with weak spiritual lives who are not spending time with the Lord will not be effective in the field. I have made a great many excuses since becoming Catholic why I do not have time to go to Adoration and every single one of them are lousy reasons. I have never left a Holy Hour and said to myself “Well, that was a waste of time!” Even when prayer is dry every minute spent with the one whom we want others to encounter is well spent.
In the years I spent working for a Catholic parish I saw more conversions take place with Our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration than all other activities combined. The Great Commission is to go out and make disciples, and we do that by helping people encounter Jesus Christ. All charitable works, all catechesis, all programs, all evangelization, all teachings return to the source and summit of our faith – the Eucharist.
Tips for Success:
- For evangelization teams, find one hour a month where you can gather before the Lord and spend time in Eucharistic Adoration together.
- If you are not going to Eucharistic Adoration now, try to find opportunities near you. Make it a goal this month to spend 30 minutes in Adoration.
- When you go to Adoration (unless there is a program of scripture, rosary, or music planned) bring a Bible, rosary, or other spiritual reading with you. Spend time adoring the Lord, asking forgiveness for your sins, thanking God for all of the good things in your life, and petitioning God for your needs and those of your family and church.
From the Catechism:
2628 Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,”respectful silence in the presence of the “ever greater” God. Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications.
2691 The church, the house of God, is the proper place for the liturgical prayer of the parish community. It is also the privileged place for adoration of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. The choice of a favorable place is not a matter of indifference for true prayer.
2696 The most appropriate places for prayer are personal or family oratories, monasteries, places of pilgrimage, and above all the church, which is the proper place for liturgical prayer for the parish community and the privileged place for Eucharistic adoration.
From the Spiritual Masters:
Each time we look upon Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, He raises us up into deeper union with Himself, opens up the floodgates of His merciful love to the whole world, and brings us closer to the day of His final victory “where every knee will bend and proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.” – Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“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
From the Church:
“It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.” – St. John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia
“The Church and the world have a great need of eucharistic adoration. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love.” – St. John Paul II, Dominicae Canae
“Our communal worship at mass must go together with our personal worship of Jesus in Eucharistic adoration in order that our love may be complete.” – St. John Paul II, Redeemer of Man
“How great is the value of conversation with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, for there is nothing more consoling on earth, nothing more efficacious for advancing along the road of holiness! He proposes his own example to those who come to him, that all may learn to be like himself, gentle and humble of heart, and to seek not their own interest but those of God.” – Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei
For Discussion Groups & Teams:
- Why is Eucharistic Adoration so important?
- How can we overcome our busy schedules and make time for the Lord every day?
- Can we schedule in 30 minutes or 1 hour of Adoration each month? What is stopping us?
- Can you spend one hour a week in Adoration? If you have a local perpetual adoration chapel you can sign up to come the same hour every week.
- How can we best encourage others to attend Adoration? Have you ever invited someone to go with you before?
© 2014 St. Paul Street Evangelization. Written by Adam Janke, Program Director.