Year of the Eucharist
“And behold I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Cardinal Sean O’Malley has announced a Year of the Eucharist to bolster the faith of those who already believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and to encourage those who struggle with this belief. Over the course of the next year and a half, the Cardinal invites all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston to learn more about the Eucharist and to spend more time before the Eucharistic Lord, asking Him to reveal Himself to you.
Eucharistic Adoration is offered every Monday evening from 7:00-8:00 pm at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, and every First Friday from 8:30 am-12:00 noon at St. Maria Goretti Church.
"The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about everlasting peace on earth," - Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
What is Adoration?
Eucharistic Adoration is the respect and worship we give to Jesus, who is truly present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. It refers to personal, intimate time spent with Jesus in the Eucharist. Usually, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, with the white host visible within a golden or silver display case called a monstrance. Even when the Blessed Sacrament is not exposed, however, you can pray before Jesus’ presence in the tabernacle.
Adoration calls us to take a break from our busy lives to quiet our minds and open our hearts to Jesus Christ. Like spending quality time with any loved one -- deepening that relationship -- the blessings are abundant. But, Adoration isn’t necessarily about what we will get out of it. True, the graces dispensed by God help us grow in holiness, but the primary purpose of Adoration is right there in the name of the act: to adore the One present to us in the Eucharist. Remember, the Lord is spending this hour with you.
Why should I go to Adoration?
We hit "pause" on all the important and pressing matters we busy ourselves with to learn how to sit at the feet of Jesus, to chose the better portion, and to help attune our ears to God’s words and our eyes to God’s gaze so we can do what we pray in the Our Father: “thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Sitting before the Eucharist is being granted an audience with the King of Heaven. Why would we keep away?
What do I in Adoration?
Remember that you don’t actually have to do anything. The Catholic faith recognizes that the greatest gift God gives us is himself, and Adoration is another way for us to recognize that gift outside of receiving the Eucharist at Mass. So, don’t overthink it. Just receive the gift.
There are many ways to pray. We may meditate silently by gazing on the sacred host. We may silently speak to Jesus from our mind and heart. We may also rely on devotions and prayers from Catholic tradition, such as the reading of Scripture, recitation of the rosary, or the litanies.
If you have no idea where to start, here are some suggestions:
- 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.
- Recite the “Jesus Prayer”
Say “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner,” repeatedly as you quiet your heart and mind.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- Pray the Rosary
Pope Saint John Paul II reminds us, “…is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ 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, 55) Ask Mary to join you as you gaze on Christ in the Eucharist and as you pray the Rosary.
- 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.
- Listen to praise and worship music through headphones
Music can be an extremely effective way to focus our thoughts on God. Just make sure you have headphones that will keep everyone else in your vicinity from having to share in your music choices.
You don’t have to sit still during your Holy Hour in order to make it count. It’s okay for it to be a natural extension of the rest of your prayer life. So, if there’s something that really helps you focus your prayer, bring it to Adoration. Most of all, remember to receive the gift of Christ in the Eucharist and just be present to God.
Prayer of Adoration of the Eucharist
My Lord Jesus Christ, I adore you in all the tabernacles of the world. I offer you my life in reparation for the sins against the Blessed Sacrament, the unworthy communions, disrespect, lack of reverence in your churches, and countless other sins against your most Holy Body and Blood. Please, my Lord, increase my faith in your Eucharistic presence so that my devotion may be fanned into a ﬂame of love of you and that I may go into the world to proclaim your kingdom. I ask this of your mercy in your Holy Name. Amen.
Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, pray for us!