Eucharistic Adoration is a common practice within the Catholic Church, but it also is one of the most misunderstood practices, so let’s take a deeper look at it.
First it is important to understand what it Eucharistic Adoration is. So let’s start with the word ‘adore’. The definition of the word adoring according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “feeling or showing great affection and devotion.” The Eucharist is the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated host. So when we refer to Eucharistic Adoration, we are meaning to adore Christ in the Eucharist.
When most people refer to “sitting in adoration” they are referring to Eucharistic Exposition which is when the body of Christ is placed in the monstrance for us to see and adore. However, one could ‘sit in adoration’ by simply sitting in front of the tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is kept. Either way, one is sitting adoration of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Why spend time in adoration? To sit in the presence of Christ is to allow for Him to see you and to give you a chance to open your heart entirely to Him. Adoration also reminds those who come before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament of His sacrifice and inspire attitude of self-gift, which is the heart of Catholic social doctrine. Time spent sitting in adoration aids the faithful in becoming more deeply linked in communion of the Mystical Body of Christ. Eucharistic Adoration brings the faithful of the New Covenant throughout the Catholic world to adore the same Lord present in every tabernacle.
Five tips for sitting in adoration:
1. Be Patient. If you are not familiar with spending time with the Lord in this way, it can take some getting used to. Focus on him and not on the clock.
2. Bring Scripture. Open to your favorite story, or where you last left off. The readings of the day (usccb.org) or for the upcoming weekend are also a great place to start. Some folks prefer to simply open the book, and see what God is putting on their heart.
3. Pray the Rosary. During this time, focusing on the prayers, the beads and the mysteries of the rosary can be very calming and insightful. These links may be helpful if you find yourself wanting a refresher on the “how to” of both the rosary and the chaplet. How to pray the rosary, USCCB How to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, USCCB
4. Listen to Praise and Worship Music. For some people, listening to music can be quite fruitful during adoration. Just make sure you are also taking time to listen. Choose the music/genre that suits you, that lifts your soul.
5. Be ok with silence. The noise of the world today is louder than of any other time in history. Many of us do not know how to just sit in silence, no music, no talking, just silence. It may take a while to get used to but see tip #1… be patient. It may take a few minutes just to allow your brain to settle down.When in doubt, just pray: ‘Jesus I am here, I love you, enter my heart.’