Here is a very good article by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB about this week's readings for Sunday mass. I am particularly interested in what he has to say about Eucharistic adoration:
Here is one concrete example to illustrate the above point about liturgy and devotion. [Fr. Rosica had just finished saying that there should be no dichotomy between liturgy and devotion, charity and justice.] Many of my generation have responded very negatively to the younger generation's rediscovery of Eucharistic adoration and devotion.
Benedict XVI has put a great emphasis on Eucharistic adoration and devotion in Catholic life. Many of us have failed to see that our public worship is intimately related to adoration, so much so that that they could be considered as one. Piety and devotion can be springboards to mature faith. Each time we gather together to celebrate the Eucharist as the Christian community, we profess, together with the whole Church, our faith in Christ the Eucharist, in Christ -- the living bread and the bread of life.
"...they could be considered as one." That idea is expressed in the Sacred Congregation of Rites' Eucharisticum Mysterium:
The mystery of the Eucharist should therefore be considered in all its fullness, not only in the celebration of Mass but also in devotion to the sacred species which remain after Mass and are reserved to extend the grace of the sacrifice. (Section 3g)
Pope Paul VI called attention to the importance of Eucharistic adoration in Mysterium Fidei:
And they [the faithful] should not forget about paying a visit during the day to the Most Blessed Sacrament in the very special place of honor where it is reserved in churches in keeping with the liturgical laws, since this is a proof of gratitude and a pledge of love and a display of the adoration that is owed to Christ the Lord who is present there. (Section 66; this passage is also quoted in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments' Redemptionis Sacramentum, section 135)
If we see Eucharistic adoration as "a proof of gratitude and a pledge of love," then we see how important it is, and how it is a way to stay close to Christ between sacramental receptions of the Eucharist.
Father Rosica also refers to Philippino Bishop Louis Antonio Tagle's address to the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City. Father Rosica quotes a wonderful passage from Bishop Tagle's address:
In the Eucharist, the Church joins Jesus in adoring the God of life. But the practice of Eucharistic adoration enlivens some features of worship. We believe that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist continues beyond the liturgy. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament connotes being present, resting, and beholding. In adoration, we are present to Jesus whose sacrifice is ever present to us. Abiding in him, we are assimilated more deeply into his self-giving. Beholding Jesus, we receive and are transformed by the mystery we adore.
I love the idea of "being present, resting, and beholding" as the disposition for fruitful adoration. Such simple words. Such challenging actions.
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