"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," - Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
What is Adoration?
It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to His Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take His departure from His own in His visible form, He wanted to give us His sacramental presence; since He was about to offer Himself on the cross to save us, He wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which He loved us "to the end," even to the giving of His life. In His Eucharistic presence He remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave Himself up for us, and He remains under signs that express and communicate this love: The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet Him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease (Catechism Catholic Church; 1380).
What to do in Adoration?
Sometimes we can be intimidated to go to Adoration. It is not because we fear being with Jesus in prayer but rather we have never been taught what to do in an extended period of prayer. Is it alright to read, pray a Rosary, or reflect upon the Scriptures? Or do I have to sit there- not moving or making a sound, staring at a gold monstrance with a Host inside? While visiting our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration, we can pray in a variety of different ways. Here are some suggestions:
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" Say "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner," repeatedly as you quiet your heart and mind.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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."
6. 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.
7. Pray the Rosary Pope 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.
8. 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.