Adoration Before the Blessed Sacrament

Next to attending Holy Mass and receiving Jesus in Holy Communion, it is a devout practice to make trips to your church to pray to Him. This can be done on weekdays when parishes are open after Mass for adoration. It’s a wonderful experience to come before the Lord and spend time with Him. You can pray spiritual prayers such as the “Divine Praises,” pour out your troubles or ask petitions, or simply sit before Him and feel His presence. He is the “Divine Prisoner,” always awaiting us in the tabernacle of a Catholic church.

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta always spent an hour before the Blessed Sacrament with her Sisters of Charity before they went to work in the slums each day.

I enjoy spending time with Jesus in this way when He and I tarry together, and I feel His love.

The parishes in my town expose the Blessed Sacrament in a Monstrance once a week. The Monstrance is a gold vessel in which the consecrated Host is displayed. I had a legally blind friend who always worshipped at such times by making a Holy Hour then. It’s something that my parents did as well, while praying the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet with the Altar Rosary Society or Holy Name Society members.

I remember the beautiful “Forty Hours” devotions at my parish when I was a child. The forty hours symbolize the traditional forty hours from Jesus’ burial to His resurrection. It was preceded by a Solemn Mass of Exposition and concluded with an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and a procession. The Eucharist in the Monstrance was processed around the church by the pastor. He held the Monstrance high and was joined by other invited clergy, altar servers, and girls and boys from my Catholic grade school. We wore white dresses and suits for the liturgy. The choir sang beautiful traditional Polish and English hymns. The pastor incensed the Eucharist in the Monstrance and led the congregation in prayer.

Saint Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, wrote that she always liked to throw rose petals at Jesus in the Monstrance and was always thrilled when they touched Him.

My church maintains the Polish custom of processing through the streets of our city with priests from the different parishes holding the Monstrance aloft on the feast of Corpus Christi. At each church, the Gospel is read and there is a reflection upon it. Parishioners pray the Rosary in English, Polish, Spanish, and Portuguese while walking to each church.

Perpetual Adoration, is, perhaps, the loveliest devotion. Parishioners take turns adoring before the Eucharist which is usually exposed over a 24-hour, seven days a week period throughout the year. They sign up for one-hour intervals to adore Jesus. It is a way of making reparation to Jesus for the sacrileges committed against Him in this sacrament and against the Father and the Holy Spirit. It’s also a way of showing gratitude to God for the many blessings He bestows upon us. A parish that has this devotion surely grows in grace and holiness.

I remember a religious Sister at My Catholic school told us that one girl always used to make visits to the Blessed Sacrament at her church. She would say in parting, “Well, dear Jesus, I’d like to stay, but I have to go now.” When she died and arrived in heaven, she told Jesus the same thing. He smiled at her and replied, “No, now you are going to live with me forever in heaven.”

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