Thursday, September 25, 2014

Visions Article--Eucharistic Adoration

Below is an article I submitted to the St. Thomas Aquinas parish newsletter Visions about Eucharistic Adoration.

           One of the features of our faith life at St. Thomas Aquinas of which I am most proud is Eucharistic Adoration.  We have adorers of our Lord who spend one hour with him in prayer from 12:00pm-10:00pm Monday through Friday.
            Holy Mass is our highest form of prayer—the source and summit of our lives.  Eucharistic Adoration allows us to continue to pray before Jesus Christ himself in the Eucharist.  The magi once stated, “We have come to give [Jesus Christ] homage” (Matthew 2:2).  What the wise men from the East did for the baby Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago, we can do anytime today!
            We believe Jesus gives us his Body and Blood under the forms of bread and wine.  This is no mere symbol but a real presence of the glorified Christ.  Because of this it is virtuous to worship and pray before Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist.
            A beautiful prayer tradition in our faith has been to make a holy hour before the Lord.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus challenged his disciples: “Could you not watch one hour with me?  Watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:40-41).  In the United States of America, Archbishop Fulton Sheen encouraged the practice of the holy hour.  He stated, “The purpose of the Holy Hour is to encourage deep personal encounter with Christ.  The holy and glorious God is constantly inviting us to come to Him, to hold converse with Him, to ask for such things as we need and to experience what a blessing there is in fellowship with Him” (Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Archbishop Fulton Sheen).
            I have experienced the graces of the holy hour firsthand.  Praying before the Blessed Sacrament helped me grow in a personal encounter with Christ and led me to discern a call to the priesthood.  As your Pastor I strive to make a holy hour everyday to intercede for you and grow closer to the Lord. 
Could you commit to a weekly holy hour in our Adoration chapel?  If so, or if you are interested in more information about Eucharistic Adoration, please call Carolyn Youso at 283-3769.  Adorers are always needed and appreciated to keep our Lord company.
Thank you to everyone who makes Eucharistic Adoration so readily available in our parishes.  Take advantage of this great gift!
God Bless!

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