Eucharistic Adoration: Recovering a Capacity for Silence

At midday on Sunday, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square below.

In his remarks, the Holy Father spoke of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, which many nations including the Vatican celebrated last Thursday, and which others have liturgically moved to today. This Feast invites us, he said, "to contemplate the supreme Master of our faith: the Blessed Eucharist, the real presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the altar.

"Each time a priest repeats the Eucharistic sacrifice," he added, "he lends his voice, hands and heart to Christ, Who wished to remain with us and to be the pulsating heart of the Church. But even after the celebration of the divine mysteries, the Lord Jesus remains alive in the tabernacle and, for this reason, a special form of praise of Him is Eucharistic adoration." Outside Mass, this practice "prolongs and intensifies the events of the liturgical celebration, and makes it possible to welcome Christ truly and profoundly."

Benedict XVI went on to mention the fact that "in all Christian communities a Eucharistic procession takes place today, a unique form of public adoration of the Eucharist, enriched by the beautiful and traditional expressions of popular devotion.

"I wish to take the opportunity of today's Solemnity to recommend the practice of Eucharistic adoration to pastors and faithful. I am happy to note that many young people are discovering the beauty of adoration, both alone and in company. I invite priests to encourage youth groups to this end, but also to accompany them to ensure that community devotion is always appropriate and dignified, with suitable moments for silence and listening to the Word of God.

"In modern life, so often noisy and dispersive, it is more than ever important to recover the capacity for inner silence and prayer. Eucharistic adoration enables this to happen, not only around 'me,' but also in the company of the 'you' full of love that is Jesus Christ, 'God close to us'."

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