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May 15, 2024
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May 15, 2024

Exploring the nature of Eucharistic Adoration

By Fr Jesse Maingot OP

“I am convinced that we have lost the sense of adoration: we must regain it, …. ‘wasting’ time before the tabernacle, regaining the sense of adoration.”

These are Pope Francis’ words to challenge us to greater devotion to Eucharistic Adoration.

Pope Francis has been calling the Church again and again to ‘waste time’ before the tabernacle. St Alphonsus Liguori famously said: “Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.”

In a homily at Vespers in Altötting, Pope Benedict XVI referred to a striking quote by St Edith Stein: “The Lord is present in the tabernacle in his divinity and his humanity. He is not there for himself, but for us…. As a result, anyone with normal thoughts and feelings will naturally be drawn to spend time with him, whenever possible and as much as possible.”

It is my prayer and hope that our 33 days to Eucharistic Glory will lead us all to say: ‘I visit Jesus in the tabernacle whenever possible and as much as possible.’ If Jesus is truly in the Eucharist body, blood, soul, and divinity, shouldn’t we be running to the tabernacle to meet Him?

Sometimes it is hard for us to see the connection between Holy Communion and Eucharistic Adoration. Both Pope Benedict XVI and St Pope John Paul II taught in their magisterium that Eucharistic Adoration prolongs and intensifies the fruits of Holy Communion. Eucharistic Adoration itself is a ‘spiritual eating’ which nourishes and matures the graces of Holy Communion.

The recently beatified Carlos Acutis said, “When we face the sun, we get a tan…but when we stand before Jesus in the Eucharist, we become saints.” The point is: Adoration transforms our souls and gives life to the whole Church. However, as we have said in previous articles, the fruit of our Adoration depends on the degree of our humility, faith, and love.

One of the best definitions of Adoration I have heard is from Pope Benedict XVI. He reflects on the Greek and Latin words for adoration. The Greek word is proskynesis.

This word, Pope Benedict says,  “refers to the gesture of submission, the recognition of God as our true measure…the norm that we choose to follow.” He goes on to say that “the Latin word for ‘adoration’ is ad-oratio—mouth to mouth contact, a kiss, an embrace, and hence, ultimately love.”

Joining both words together he says adoration involves a “submission” to God which “becomes union, because He to whom we submit is Love. In this way submission acquires a meaning, because it does not impose anything on us from the outside but liberates us deep within.”

Eucharistic Adoration therefore is a submission which culminates in a holy kiss and embrace with the Lord. We adore and He lifts us up with love.


If you have a Eucharistic testimony of the encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, please email us to build the faith of others—eucharist@catholictt.org