Opportunities to Pray before the Blessed Sacrament
You are invited to grow in faith and love of our Lord with us, by coming to Eucharistic Adoration at Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic Church. Whether you regularly visit an Adoration chapel, or have never experienced the quiet and peace of praying before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, all are invited to participate.
The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic worship."
What is Adoration?
Eucharistic Adoration is a posture of love, the placing of oneself in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, whether reposed inside the tabernacle, or exposed inside a special stand called a monstrance. Generally, when a parish or organization holds a specific time of Adoration they are referring to a time where the Blessed Sacrament is visible in the monstrance for the people to pray before.
Adoration allows for a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, who is truly and physically present in a special way in the Eucharistic liturgy, and in the Eucharistic species. While many people pray privately in Adoration, Adoration can also be performed as communal prayer and worship. This is usually done in the context of a "Holy Hour" that is structured so as to give time for specific communal prayer as well as private silent prayer. Thus, communal Adoration becomes a beautiful way to help a parish or group grow together to become a truly Eucharistic community.
People come to Eucharistic Adoration with a variety of motives and methods of prayer. Some people come who are suffering in some way, who are experiencing turmoil in their lives and who seek refuge in the love of Jesus. Others come to give praise and thanksgiving to God for His grace working in their life. Still others come to simply sit or kneel in His presence, to find a moment of peace with God in the midst of a busy life.
Some people bring the Bible or a spiritual book to read (most Adoration chapels also have books available there for you to read), others pray the Rosary or the Divine Mercy chaplet, to help them focus their minds and hearts on the mystery of our salvation by Jesus Christ.
In Adoration, you are invited to come as you are, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey - Jesus is there to meet you where you are at, and to show you His love and mercy in a new and special way, a way just for you!
Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the "King of Glory," respectful silence in the presence of the "ever greater" God. Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications.
Why Have Adoration?
If the celebration of the Mass is central to the Catholic faith, according to Vatican II, then what place does Eucharistic Adoration outside of Mass have in our Church today? While Mass is, of course, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the primary weekly gathering of our parish family, the Eucharist that is consecrated into Christ's Body and Blood at every Mass (and reserved in every Catholic church's tabernacle) remains His Body and Blood. As Christ was incarnate for us in His humanity, so too is He present before us still, in all the tabernacles of the world, as He promised - "I am with you always, until the end of the age."
The Real Presence of Christ remains for us so that we may be able to bring the Eucharist to the sick and homebound, but He also is present for us to visit Him throughout the day with our prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving. In the gift of the Eucharist, Jesus is with us in a very special way, a substantial and physical way. As human beings, composed of both body and soul, we find comfort and strength in not only recognizing God's spiritual presence throughout our world, but also in the small white Host, placed before us for our adoration. Such humility He has, as St. Therese exclaimed, to become a "prisoner of love" for us, with His splendor hidden and veiled from us behind the appearance of mere bread.
You can pray anywhere, it is true, but the personal relationship with Jesus Christ that grows with time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is a unique source of encouragement and peace. Rather than take away from the importance and central aspect of the Mass, the practice of Eucharistic Adoration should complement the Mass. Adoration helps you to participate more fully in the Mass, by increasing your loving awareness of Christ in your life, by renewing your faith in His merciful love, and by deepening your understanding of the focus of the Mass, which is the worship of God the Father through the sacrifice of the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is only by drawing closer to Jesus Christ that we can truly draw closer to each other, in our families and in our worlds.
True social justice emerges from love, and all love emerges from God and our acceptance of His love. Whatever increases our love of God will increase our love of neighbor, and our love for our neighbor will inspire us to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters. For any relationship to grow in love, there must be time spent in the presence of the one we love. As our Creator and our Sustainer, the time spent before the Blessed Sacrament is time spent before the one we love. Our Lord awaits you!