Mystified by Adoration


#1

I have been a practicing Catholic all of my life, and participating in the celebration of the liturgy is very important to me, particularly the liturgy of the Mass. It is in the context of the Mass that I understand the Eucharist: we do what Christ did in the Upper Room, at the Last Supper. We give thanks to God, together, corporately. In imitation of Christ and at his command, we offer bread and wine through the person of the celebrant. We consume the consecrated gifts and go forth united as Christ’s people…his Church. All of this makes perfect sense to me.

I must confess, however, that I have difficulty recognizing the value of “Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament”: when the priest takes one of the consecrated hosts, and displays it behind the glass of a monstrance, as the faithful kneel and make adoration.

As I understand things, the Eucharistic species are meant for consumption within the Eucharistic liturgy, and so I find it perplexing, to be honest, that this form of devotion should arise, and I do not see the value of it, or understand its meaning. The point is lost on me.

I am wondering how this practice originated, to begin with, and when, and what is the explanation for it. Without meaning to upset anyone, I would be just as glad not to read responses of a more sentimental or subjective nature: “I get such a profound peace from contemplating my Lord and Savior and I love being able to give thanks to Him this way…” I’ll be blunt: I don’t care. That’s not what I’m getting at.

What I am wondering is, apart from making sentimental people feel good, what, actually, is the point of it? Or is that the point? Because to me, it seems like Adoration takes the Eucharist completely out of context and does something with the species that was not intended.

I post this question with all due respect for those for whom this practice is important.


#2

Try this…

ewtn.com/library/homelibr/historea.txt


#3

I’m very interested to read different thoughts on this too. I agree with the OP - please don’t give “pat” answers that infer if a person doesn’t worship as you do that they are somehow less Catholic. :wink:


#4

I believe the practice began in the Middle Ages when few people actually received Communion at Mass. The Catholic Tradition is very rich and not all forms of devotion will appeal to all people. However, it has been shown that Eucharist Adoration is a very powerful form of prayer and parishes that have the practice often see blessings in the form of greater Mass attendance, greater participation and even more vocations. I would suggest that the OP try Adoration once before deciding that it's not for him.


#5

i am attending rcia and have no religious background, to speak of. so all of this is new to me. but i went to adoration last week, and it was a wonderful time to reflect, read the bible, SLOW DOWN... so hard for me at least... i probably am not there yet as to the meaning of it.i understand the concept though.. i am taking baby steps.. i will go again tomorrow..


#6

I had a couple of stumbling blocks coming into the Church, things I found hard to agree with. One was the True Presence. I didn't believe, to put it bluntly, that Jesus was in a consecrated host - body, blood, soul and divinity. Knowing that this was THE most important doctrine to Catholicism, I shared this with my RCIA director. He suggested I come spend an hour at Adoration one night, and pray for the Lord to reveal Himself to me in a way that would increase my faith.

At Adoration in my parish, we have not just the host in a monstrance, but a chalice of the Precious Blood as well. Toward the end of my hour, starting to feel a bit discouraged that I didn't feel any different, all of the sudden, I felt a chill come over me. I could smell blood, and it was so strong, I could almost taste it. Then I heard a voice say "This is my blood." I was startled, but believe me - I never have since doubted the True Presence.

Since then, I've tried to spend one hour a week with Our Lord. Both as a way of saying thanks, and because there's just something about being in the same room with Him. I don't believe He doesn't hear my prayers when I'm anywhere else, but it's like calling home vs. visiting. Sure, my mom appreciates a phone call every day, but I know a weekly visit means a lot more to her. :thumbsup:


#7

I enjoy public devotions and especially the perfect prayer of the Mass, but I really have trouble with my own private prayer life. Adoration is a time I find incredibly conducive to private silent prayer and meditation.

Since I have become an altar server and assist in Benediction in the evenings I have gotten in the habit of hustling in with enough time to vest and light incense before Benediction; I should get there earlier and enjoy the silent Adoration aspect of things...


#8

From an Oriental perspective, I actually agree with you in main, but at the same time I cannot and will not criticize the devotion in the Roman Church. That said, and while I am not the person to answer what the “point” is, I’d suggest (if you haven’t already done so), to have a look here and also here. Those should give you an idea of the origins of the practice.


#9

A good reason to adore our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is to make reparation for all those who do not believe. We can offer our time of adoration to make up for mistreatment of the Blessed Sacrament, and pray for those who are indifferent to our Lord's presence there.


#10

There are many different religious practices that benefit some people more than others, and the Catholic Church, meant to be universal, reflects this fact. Many people benefit by having a sensible (i.e., something that can be sensed via sight, hearing, etc.) object to aid them in contemplation or meditation: thus the widespread use of icons, incense, candles, and so on.

While a primary purpose of the Eucharist is to be eaten (therefore it is confected from real food and drink), the fact of the Real Presence makes the consecrated Host a truly Divine Icon, so to speak. So it seems natural that if meditating on a picture of Our Lord, or a crucifix, is helpful to some, then the actual living flesh of Our Lord may be especially helpful as a sensible form to aid in spiritual communion with the Lord, which is what prayer is, after all.

Most of us are limited in our receptivity to the Divine Presence in many ways (but not all the same ways), so a variety of ways are available for us to pray. Besides the liturgies of the Church (Mass and the Divine Office), there are countless personal devotions, religious societies, sacramentals, blessings, pilgrimages, books, and so on. We each use those devotions that help us the most (and always under the wise guidance of the Church), and if others are helped by different devotions, then we happily encourage them, or ought to.


#11

There are many awesome responses here. This is one of them.
:slight_smile:


#12

There are many Chuch documents whicn support Eucharistic Adoration. A Google search should suffice.

Eucharistic adoration is meant to augment, not replace, the reception of the Sacrament in Holy Communion.

It is the result of the Church’s reflection on the meaning and significance of the Real Presence.

So, ultimately, Mass attendance is more important than attending Exposition, but again, it need not become an either/or proposition. There should (and is, as my personal opinion as one who loves both) be a synergy between them.


#13

fisheaters.com/eucharisticadoration.html


#14

I come from a Lutheran background and am also perhaps lacking in appreciation for Adoration...not that I don't respect it as a tradition or the value for many Catholics, but for me, I don't see the difference in actually seeing the consecrated hosts.

Maybe it's my roots as understanding true presence in a different manner. I fully understand and accept it in the Catholic sense, but the added dimention of "seeing" Christ in the appearance of a host just doesn't do anything extra for me.

It used to bother me that I didn't appreciate it, but I've come to terms with that. It isn't a required ritual in Catholocism i.e. something we need to do or do on a regular basis, so I guess I've become comfortable not getting out of it what others get out of it.

So, the advice I'd give to the OP is not to fret if you never "get" the value of it. Give it a serious go, and if it isn't for you, it isn't for you. But give the practice a fair chance first. It may take many years to come to appreciate its value. :)


#15

To me, Adoration is a natural corollary of the belief that, following consecration, Christ is truly present in the Eucharistic species, body blood soul and divinity. And remains so for as long as the species remain, not just until or unless they are consumed.

After all, He said 'This is My body' full stop. Not 'well, yes, this is My body, but only if you choose to eat it. It is NOT, unlike My Body in human form, worthy in and of itself of adoration." If He appeared before us in human form we would certainly adore and worship His sacred body, no? He is no less really present, and worthy and fit to be adored as such, in Eucharistic form.

We acknowledge that the Eucharist is special enough, worthy enough of reverence, that we reserve Him in a special sacred place, the Tabernacle. We fenuflect towards that Tabernacle as a reflection of this belief.

We don't put the consecrated Hosts back in storage with the unconsecrated ones, or the consecrated wine back in the bottle it came from, mixed up with the ordinary wine, to get another 'go-around' at the next Mass. Nor do we dump the surplus in the trash can or the like.

This, as I said, is a natural corollary of our belief not only that the bread and wine have become the Body and Blood, but remain so for as long afterwards as that bread and wine remain. We understand that they are unlike ordinary bread and wine and cannot be treated as if they were.


#16

[quote="Pregustator, post:1, topic:216221"]
I have been a practicing Catholic all of my life, and participating in the celebration of the liturgy is very important to me, particularly the liturgy of the Mass. It is in the context of the Mass that I understand the Eucharist: we do what Christ did in the Upper Room, at the Last Supper. We give thanks to God, together, corporately. In imitation of Christ and at his command, we offer bread and wine through the person of the celebrant. We consume the consecrated gifts and go forth united as Christ's people...his Church. All of this makes perfect sense to me.

I must confess, however, that I have difficulty recognizing the value of "Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament": when the priest takes one of the consecrated hosts, and displays it behind the glass of a monstrance, as the faithful kneel and make adoration.

As I understand things, the Eucharistic species are meant for consumption within the Eucharistic liturgy, and so I find it perplexing, to be honest, that this form of devotion should arise, and I do not see the value of it, or understand its meaning. The point is lost on me.

I am wondering how this practice originated, to begin with, and when, and what is the explanation for it. Without meaning to upset anyone, I would be just as glad not to read responses of a more sentimental or subjective nature: "I get such a profound peace from contemplating my Lord and Savior and I love being able to give thanks to Him this way..." I'll be blunt: I don't care. That's not what I'm getting at.

What I am wondering is, apart from making sentimental people feel good, what, actually, is the point of it? Or is that the point? Because to me, it seems like Adoration takes the Eucharist completely out of context and does something with the species that was not intended.

I post this question with all due respect for those for whom this practice is important.

[/quote]

JL: The questions you need to ask yourself would be, In imitation of Christ and at his command, DO WE OFFER BREAD AND WINE **through the person of the celebrant? **OR DO WE OFFER THE REAL BODY, BLOOD SOUL and DIVINITY, OF our risen Lord and God Jesus Christ UNDER THE APPEARANCE of bread and wine?". Is this bread, before me, or is the GOD, BEFORE ME, UNDER THE APPEARANCE OF bread?"

If you answer, it is God before me under appearance of bread and wine. Then you need to ask, can Adoration of God VISIBLY PRESENT under appearance of bread and wine ever be out of context? Should we just ignore the VISIBLE PRESENTS OF GOD among us, because it is reserved for the those who cannot come to mass?


#17

[quote="jlhargus, post:16, topic:216221"]
JL: The questions you need to ask yourself would be, In imitation of Christ and at his command, DO WE OFFER BREAD AND WINE **through the person of the celebrant? **OR DO WE OFFER THE REAL BODY, BLOOD SOUL and DIVINITY, OF our risen Lord and God Jesus Christ UNDER THE APPEARANCE of bread and wine?". Is this bread, before me, or is the GOD, BEFORE ME, UNDER THE APPEARANCE OF bread?"

If you answer, it is God before me under appearance of bread and wine. Then you need to ask, can Adoration of God VISIBLY PRESENT under appearance of bread and wine ever be out of context? Should we just ignore the VISIBLE PRESENTS OF GOD among us, because it is reserved for the those who cannot come to mass?

About a year after my conversion, from a nondenominational bible church, I was severing at adoration, my first time at adoration. When the priest and I were before the Host and the priest was incensing, a sudden temptation came over me this is idolatry. I started to get up and walk out, but the question came to me. Is Christ truly present or not? my answer was YES, I have never been tempted since, to believe otherwise.

[/quote]


#18

I'm a convert to Catholicism from evangelical Protestantism.

I believe that when Jesus says, "This IS my Body," that He speaks the truth. The Consecrated Host IS Jesus. And because the Consecrated Host is Jesus, the Consecrated Host is worthy of our worship and adoration and devotion.

Whether we choose to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is an individual matter. Many people in the New Testament loved and followed Jesus, but not everyone chose to sit at His Feet and spend quiet time with Him. He does not require this particular mode of devotion from each and every one of His children.

But remember that He did tell Martha that Mary, who sat quietly at His Feet, chose the better way.

Someone above mentioned that they have a hard time understanding why "seeing" Jesus is important.

Maybe this rather silly tale will help.

For many years, I've had a crush on an actor. I "fell in love" with him when I was a teenager, and continued to adore him throughout my adult years. I had (and still have) thousands of pictures of this actor and I have copies of all the movies he's done and videos of the TV show that he starred in, and books about him and games and other souvenirs. I carry a card showing that I am a member of his fan club.

But I had never seen him in person until several years ago, when I attended, for the first time, a convention in which he was a guest.

While we were waiting for him to step out onto the stage, I was so excited. My heart was beating and I was trembling all over. Here I was, a forty-year-old woman, literally shaking with excitement as I anticipated seeing, for the first time, a man that I didn't even know other than from teenybopper magazines!

And when he finally entered the stage, I and hundreds of other adorers rose to our feet and applauded, and I felt my heart nearly stop! I was in tears. Finally, the object of my long-time adoration was truly present in the very room with me!

He didn't disappoint, BTW. He was just as handsome in real life, even though he was 30 years older than when I first fell in love with him. And he was funny and charming and had a gorgeous stage voice and I could have sat and listened to him for many hours. Why can't time pass that fast when I'm at work?!

I never did get close to him. I never did get to talk with him privately. I just saw him on a stage.

But the sight of him was glorious to me. To this day, I am amazed at the nature of my emotional reaction to seeing him in person, live.

And when I first began studying Catholicism, I had pretty much the same reaction to seeing Jesus Live, In Person, for the first time, and I still experience a physical thrill whenever I enter the True Presence of Our Lord in our church's 24/7 Adoration Chapel.

Yes, YES, after all the years of worshipping Jesus from afar and picturing Him in my mind's eye, as I did in the evangelical Protestant churches, it makes such a difference to actually SEE Jesus in Person, to actually sit at His Feet as Mary did while her sister Martha bustled about!

And wonder of wonders, I can not only see Him, but talk with Him and hear Him talk to me, which I didn't get to do at my favorite actor's convention.

I think that a lot of people who love someone will attest that as wonderful as it is to write letters and cards, talk on the phone, email, and facebook, and stare at pictures, nothing is as wonderful as actually seeing the beloved one in person and sitting down with them and being with them.


#19

[quote="jlhargus, post:16, topic:216221"]
JL: The questions you need to ask yourself would be, In imitation of Christ and at his command, DO WE OFFER BREAD AND WINE **through the person of the celebrant? **OR DO WE OFFER THE REAL BODY, BLOOD SOUL and DIVINITY, OF our risen Lord and God Jesus Christ UNDER THE APPEARANCE of bread and wine?". Is this bread, before me, or is this GOD, BEFORE ME, UNDER THE APPEARANCE OF bread?"

If you answer, it is God before me under appearance of bread and wine. Then you need to ask, can Adoration of God VISIBLY PRESENT under appearance of bread and wine ever be out of context? Should we just ignore the VISIBLE PRESENTS OF GOD among us, because it is reserved for the those who cannot come to mass?

About a year after my conversion, from a nondenominational bible church, I was severing at adoration, my first time at adoration. When the priest and I were before the Host and the priest was incensing, a sudden temptation came over me this is idolatry. I started to get up and walk out, but the question came to me. Is Christ truly present or not? my answer was YES, I have never been tempted since, to believe otherwise.

[/quote]


#20

[quote="Cat, post:18, topic:216221"]
I'm a convert to Catholicism from evangelical Protestantism.

I believe that when Jesus says, "This IS my Body," that He speaks the truth. The Consecrated Host IS Jesus. And because the Consecrated Host is Jesus, the Consecrated Host is worthy of our worship and adoration and devotion.

Whether we choose to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is an individual matter. Many people in the New Testament loved and followed Jesus, but not everyone chose to sit at His Feet and spend quiet time with Him. He does not require this particular mode of devotion from each and every one of His children.

But remember that He did tell Martha that Mary, who sat quietly at His Feet, chose the better way.

Someone above mentioned that they have a hard time understanding why "seeing" Jesus is important.

Maybe this rather silly tale will help.

For many years, I've had a crush on an actor. I "fell in love" with him when I was a teenager, and continued to adore him throughout my adult years. I had (and still have) thousands of pictures of this actor and I have copies of all the movies he's done and videos of the TV show that he starred in, and books about him and games and other souvenirs. I carry a card showing that I am a member of his fan club.

But I had never seen him in person until several years ago, when I attended, for the first time, a convention in which he was a guest.

While we were waiting for him to step out onto the stage, I was so excited. My heart was beating and I was trembling all over. Here I was, a forty-year-old woman, literally shaking with excitement as I anticipated seeing, for the first time, a man that I didn't even know other than from teenybopper magazines!

And when he finally entered the stage, I and hundreds of other adorers rose to our feet and applauded, and I felt my heart nearly stop! I was in tears. Finally, the object of my long-time adoration was truly present in the very room with me!

He didn't disappoint, BTW. He was just as handsome in real life, even though he was 30 years older than when I first fell in love with him. And he was funny and charming and had a gorgeous stage voice and I could have sat and listened to him for many hours. Why can't time pass that fast when I'm at work?!

I never did get close to him. I never did get to talk with him privately. I just saw him on a stage.

But the sight of him was glorious to me. To this day, I am amazed at the nature of my emotional reaction to seeing him in person, live.

And when I first began studying Catholicism, I had pretty much the same reaction to seeing Jesus Live, In Person, for the first time, and I still experience a physical thrill whenever I enter the True Presence of Our Lord in our church's 24/7 Adoration Chapel.

Yes, YES, after all the years of worshipping Jesus from afar and picturing Him in my mind's eye, as I did in the evangelical Protestant churches, it makes such a difference to actually SEE Jesus in Person, to actually sit at His Feet as Mary did while her sister Martha bustled about!

And wonder of wonders, I can not only see Him, but talk with Him and hear Him talk to me, which I didn't get to do at my favorite actor's convention.

I think that a lot of people who love someone will attest that as wonderful as it is to write letters and cards, talk on the phone, email, and facebook, and stare at pictures, nothing is as wonderful as actually seeing the beloved one in person and sitting down with them and being with them.

[/quote]

JL: Great post Cat :thumbsup:. About a year after my conversion, from a nondenominational bible church, I was severing at adoration, my first time at adoration. When the priest and I were before the Host, and the priest was incensing, a sudden temptation came over me, this is idolatry. I started to get up and walk out, but the question came to me. Is Christ truly present or not? my answer was YES, and the temptation left me. This all took place in a matter of seconds.


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