Emma Hunter, Youth Speak News

Embracing the beauty of adoration

By  Emma Hunter, Youth Speak News
  • September 11, 2015

A year ago, my friend invited me to an all-night adoration event and I asked, “What’s that?” I had never heard of eucharistic adoration before.

Now I know that eucharistic adoration is a beautiful practice in the Catholic Church that centres on the doctrine of the Real Presence, which is that Jesus Christ is fully present — body and blood, soul and divinity — in the consecrated host. Adoration is time spent praying and reflecting before the Eucharist, which is placed in a vessel called a monstrance and exposed on the altar.

If you’ve never been to adoration or you’re new to it (like me), here are some things to help guide your time in the presence of the Eucharist.

When should you go to adoration? Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong time to go. You can go to adoration for as little or as long as you’d like. Some people sign up for a Holy Hour and they have the same scheduled time every week. But, if you only have 10 minutes to stop in to your local adoration chapel, that is also great.

Set aside a time when you will be able to enter into adoration with a prayerful and reverent mindset. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer time and take a few minutes to enter into a place free from outside distractions.

One concern I had about going to adoration was what am I going to do for the whole time? If you don’t know what to pray about during adoration, this is a great time to pray the rosary and meditate on the mysteries of the rosary. Another great prayer with the rosary is the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Adoration is also a great time to read Scripture or do spiritual reading. Bring your Bible with you and try reading and reflecting on a Gospel passage.

One method I have found useful for praying with Scripture is St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Gospel contemplation. Ignatian contemplation invites us to read a passage and try to place ourselves in the story using our imagination and our senses.

Here is a Gospel passage to get you started: Mark 4:35-41, “Jesus Calms the Storm.” After reading the passage, reflect on how this relates to your life. What storms are you facing? Is it difficult to trust that Jesus is with you through the difficult times? Do you relate to the disciples, who are struggling to put their faith and trust in Jesus? What is stopping you from completely surrendering to Him?

Journaling is another way to spend time in adoration. Writing your thoughts and prayers is one way to stay focused during your Holy Hour. Keeping a spiritual journal allows you to look back on how the Holy Spirit was guiding you through your prayer time.

Sometimes I go to adoration and I honestly just don’t know what to talk to Jesus about. That is okay because adoration is also an important time to listen. In prayer, we sometimes get too caught up with voicing our requests and trying to say the right thing, but prayer is a two-way conversation with God.

In order to hear how the Lord is speaking in your heart, it’s important to embrace the silent moments with Jesus and be open to what He wants to reveal to you. Relish these moments of quiet with our Lord.

There are so many benefits to incorporating adoration into your spiritual routine. In our busy world where everyone is attached to their phones, I think it’s beautiful to spend time to rest in the Lord.

Do some research to see if there are any perpetual adoration chapels in your area and find out what hours your home parish offers adoration. Jesus is waiting for us in adoration, and what do we have to lose? There is much spiritual fruit to be gained from spending even just 10 minutes in adoration if we are only willing to give some time to be with Him.

(Hunter, 24, is a graduate student at Queen’s University where she studies Early Modern European and Canadian history.)

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