What is Eucharistic Adoration?
Eucharistic Adoration is the respect and worship we give to Jesus Christ, who is truly present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. The Eucharist is a priceless treasure; by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace. Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, He is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord.”[CCC 1418] Some of the purposes of Eucharistic Adoration are to draw us more deeply into the mystery of Christ’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, to strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ, and to express our love, gratitude, and respect for Christ our Lord.
What can I do during Eucharistic Adoration?
1. Pray the Psalms or the Liturgy of the Hours
Whether you are praising, giving thanks, asking for forgiveness or seeking an answer, you’ll find an appropriate psalm. The ancient prayer of the Church called the Liturgy of the Hours presents an excellent way to pray through the Book of Psalms throughout the year.
2. Recite the “Jesus Prayer”
3. Say “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner”, repeatedly as you quiet your heart and mind.
4. Meditate using Scripture.
Choose a passage from the Bible. Read the words and ask God to let the passage speak to you. Pay special attention to anything that strikes you and ask God what He wishes for you to draw from that message.
5. Read the life of a saint and pray with him or her.
Most holy men and women have had a great devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist. Therese of Lisieux, Catherine of Siena, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Julian Eymard, Dorothy Day. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Baroness Catherine de Hueck are just a few. Read about them and pray their prayers before the Blessed Sacrament.
6. Pour out your heart to Christ and adore Him.
Speak to Jesus, aware that you are in His presence, and tell Him all that comes to your mind. Listen for His response. Pray the prayer that St. Francis instructed his brothers to pray whenever they were before the Blessed Sacrament: “I adore you, O Christ, present here and in all the churches of the world, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”
7. Ask for forgiveness and intercede for others.
Think of those who have hurt you and request a special blessing for them. Ask God to forgive you for all the times you have neglected or hurt someone else. Bring before the Blessed Sacrament all those who have asked you to pray for them. Ask the Lord to address their concerns.
8. Pray a devotion like the Divine Mercy Chaplet or the Rosary.
Pope John Paul II reminds us, “…is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Chris and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?” (The Church and the Eucharist, Ask Mary to join you as you gaze on Christ in the Eucharist and as you pray the Rosary.
9. Sit quietly and just “be” in the presence of God.
Think of a visit to the Blessed Sacrament as coming to see your best friend. Sit quietly and enjoy being in each other’s company. Instead of talking to the Lord, try listening to what He wants to tell you.