“Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying:
‘This is My Body.’
No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it.” – St. Augustine
What is Eucharistic adoration and why do Catholics worship Jesus under the appearance of bread?
God humbly comes to us as nourishment through the Host. This is a great mystery and sounds crazy to some people. However, Jesus clearly states in John 6, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” This is our assurance that He will always be with us. “The teaching of the Church on the Real Presence is defined revealed doctrine according to the Council of Trent. It declares that the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially present in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist immediately after consecration.” (Father John A. Hardon, S.J.). The Eucharist is not just a moment of communion during the Mass, but an ongoing presence and abiding with us. Heaven and earth become one as the bread and wine are consecrated by the priest. Christ is the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity.
The center of the Catholic faith is the Eucharist because of the importance of Jesus Christ in the Church. All of the Sacraments are dircted towards the Eucharist, which is why the Church fosters devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus. On the night Jesus died on the cross, He instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. We can reflect on this event taking place, while we worship Christ and remember all He has done for us. He bled, He suffered in rejection, and expereicned the agony of physical torture; Christ experienced all the pains of humanity up until His death. He is worthy of your respect and admiration during Eucharistic Adoration and allowing Christ to be the center of your time in silence, kneeling before the God of the universe who created you out of His unconditional, unfathomable love, is one of the most profound human experiences.
Let us focus on Jesus, thanking Him as we sit in prayer during adoration. We can be fully ourselves before the Lord, transparent and vulnerable without Him finding fault; He is full of mercy. Let us gaze upon the Lord with a sincere heart, without any distractions because He is deserving of our undivided attention and praise. Even though we are “not worthy that He should enter under our roof;” He chooses to live inside His faithful followers. God is moving, are we ready to listen?
“There is no monitor or video screen at Eucharistic adoration, no figures or colors shifting across the screen. We simply sit and look at a round piece of bread encircled by light. That bread is the Body of Christ, the consecrated Host, before which countless Catholics gaze in rapt adoration throughout the world.” – Father Raymond T. Gawronski, S.J.
One Thing Adoration is a time of prayer and reflection before the Most Blessed Sacrament. “It is a contemplative approach to adoration that seeks to draw the heart and mind to God in a peaceful atmosphere of contemplation, prayer, and worship. We will be blessed by Exposition and Benediction and in between these times, we will share in chant and contemplative reflections to draw our hearts into the depths of worship of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. One Thing Adoration reflects the invitation of God to sit at His feet and know His love, His wisdom, and His healing presence.” – Dan Burke
Art for this post Eucharistic Adoration: Photograph of priest at adoration courtesy of Lauren Davis of Gratia Dei Photography, used with permission, all rights reserved. Adoration Beauty Eucharist Candles Provenance Unknown. Adoration by Daniel Burke, June 26, 2016, used with permission, all rights reserved.