I like this piece by Mary DeTurris Poust, on the effect of Adoration on parishes and individuals:
Despite the mystery — or maybe precisely because of it — adoration is growing in popularity and practice among American Catholics. Perhaps that’s because daily life, for so many, has become chaotic that there is a desperate search for a place and practice that can become the calm amid the storm: Eucharistic adoration can become that place.
Too right! I also like what this fellow says, further down in the piece:
“In a world where we are invaded with all kinds of information that comes to our senses anywhere we happen to be, adoration allows us to find Our Lord in the quiet, away from the world and hidden from our senses,” [Daniel Clough of Albany] told OSV. “It’s almost like the opposite of what mobile computing is offering to us because it invades every aspect of our life with all kinds of information and noise, but in the holy Eucharist we find God present in silence and hidden from our view. It’s a personal encounter with the Lord who remains there out of love for us.”
Clough said that Eucharistic adoration is what changed his life and made him grow deeper in his faith.
It certainly has changed my life. It was Eucharistic Adoration that brought me back to the faith. Driving by a church whose bells were ringing the Angelus, I decided to stop in and make an old-fashioned “visitation” to the Tabernacle. Walking in, I was surprised to find the monstrance and the candles: I didn’t know any parishes still did that! I hit my knees. When I arose, I thought five minutes had passed, but it had been an hour and, quite literally, everything had changed.
Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me? Absolutely. I’d been swimming in the fetid waters of my own sinful choices. Everything has followed from that one astounding hour.
Here’s what I added, through Mary’s invite, to that feature:
In The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton wrote of the holy Eucharist, “I tell you there is a power that goes forth from that sacrament, a power of light and truth.” Time spent in adoration proves his assertion. To remain before the real presence of Christ’s flesh and blood is to be invited into a stillness that goes beyond what we might experience, for instance, in prayerful meditation with the Rosary. Just as one sits in the sun and only later feels the burn, so with adoration. When I first participated in regular adoration, my children were teenagers and I often found myself dozing off before the monstrance; I castigated myself for it before realizing that Christ Jesus was permitting me a kind of holy respite from exhausting duties. In later years, I tried to “write” through adoration, to “make it productive,” but I came to understand that what I was being invited into was the quiet; the “peace beyond all understanding.” Now, I kneel before the Lord, delivering to him the intentions and concerns of so many, and then I simply sit back. I look at the Master, and the Master looks at me. It is absolute beauty.
Mary notes that simply seeking out the Tabernacle is a powerful practice:
Even if you can’t get to an adoration chapel or holy hour, sitting before the tabernacle in the quiet of your parish church can have a profound impact on your spiritual life, according to those who make a habit of this prayer practice. Celia Wolf-Devine, retired philosophy professor and author and lecturer, remembers being drawn to the Eucharist even before she became a Catholic and was told by a priest to always sit close to the tabernacle, advice she continues to follow.
“Whenever you see the red candle lit you know that the sacrament is present. This makes a big difference for one’s prayer, I find. … Even a short visit to a church bringing whatever is on my mind before him in the sacrament has a lot of power, and making that special effort to go there is well rewarded,” she said.
Read the whole piece. If you’re going out today, why not stop by the church, and make a visitation? He is always there, waiting for you.