Eucharistic Adoration at the St. Julie Billiart Chapel

Eucharistic Adoration, often just called “Adoration” or “Devotion”, is a devotional practice that has seen a great resurgence in the past decade. In our diocese alone, the number of parishes that have instituted some form of Adoration has grown from one or two in the early ’90’s to over a dozen today.

Adoration is a visit to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for a period of time. During this time, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed (not locked away) in either a Monstrance or a special type of tabernacle called an “ExpositionTabernacle”.

There are several forms that Adoration can take. At Sacred Heart, Adoration is available Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 10:00pm.

True happiness. Just as an automobile engine is made to run on gasoline and doesn’t run with water or sand, human beings are made for God and we don’t run that well on anything but God.

Reflect for a moment on your desires. All of your desires, save one, can be satisfied with something finite.  If I’m hungry, I eat a meal and I’m no longer hungry. If I’m tired, I sleep for eight hours and I’m not longer tired. But there is never a time when I say: “I don’t want any more happiness, I’m happy enough.”

Our desire for happiness is infinite and the one infinite good that can bring us infinite happiness is God. Each and every deep, hidden desire of the human heart can be answered by a a person– Jesus Christ. Spending quality time with him gets these answers. Try it, you’ll like it!

Yes, you can and should spend time with Jesus many times during the week. Adoration however is a very special way to do this.

Suppose you have a dear friend who lives in another city. You can think about your friend. You can exchange letters or emails with them. You can call them on the phone or instant message with them. In every one of these cases your dear friend is “present” to you. But none of these ways compare to actually visiting your friend in person. That is when your dear friend is “fully present” to you and you to them. Adoration is visiting your friend Jesus, in person, where he is fully present — body, blood, soul and divinity.

As human beings we are called to both be and do. The primary goal of Adoration is to be with Jesus. This being is called contemplation which is the highest form of human activity since it is what we all hope we will be doing in heaven some day.  It sounds somewhat un-natural, but in fact it isn’t. Every time we watch a sunset, gaze at a beautiful mountain, listen to the surf pounding a beach or watch a baby sleep we are contemplating.

What you do during adoration is completely between you and Jesus. Some prefer contemplative prayer or meditate on spiritual reading material, others to write in their journal, still others just to sit and gaze at Jesus (or a combination of all three).  

Eucharistic Adoration has its roots in the second century as the hemitages and then later the monastic life of the Church began to blossom. It grew organically from the recognition that Jesus… the second Person of the Blessed Trinity… is really and “substantially” present in body, blood, soul and divintiy in the consecrated bread. More structured forms of adoration began to be organized in the sixteenth century as part of the counter-reformation.

The tradition of spending one hour with Jesus is derived from the Gospel of Mathew where, while suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his disciples “So you could not stay awake with me for even an hour?” (Mt 26:40)

Recall that in his agony, an angel came to comfort Jesus. What could the angel do to provide any comfort? It is a good bet that he showed our Lord the many men and women who have and do spend an hour with him once per week down through history.

Everyone is welcome to do Adoration. Husbands and wives may find it a great way to spend time together with Jesus. Communion Ministers may find Adoration a great way to enhance their ministry. Moms and Dads may find it a quiet way to spend an hour before picking up the kids at school. Children are welcome as well!

The Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction

Every first Friday of the month in the chapel. The Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction is an extension of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which occurs in every Mass: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament flows from the sacrifice of the Mass and serves to deepen our hunger for Communion with Christ and the rest of the Church. The Rite concludes with the ordained minister blessing the faithful with the Blessed Sacrament. (USCCB)