MAKING THE MOST OF ADORATION
Many people find Adoration challenging, because it seems to involve us doing so little, and it is so easy to become distracted. We have often been asked to give some guidance on how to get the most out of a time of Adoration, especially online. We offer the following suggestions.
A prayer of surrender can be a good way to start. We always proclaim the following before Adoration: "Lord Jesus, free me from the many things that occupy and preoccupy me. Help me to just be with you. To pray with you, glorify you, thank you, worship you. I want to be attentive, more ready to hear you... make me still, Lord, make me quiet and speak to me in that silence. Amen."
(Fr Henri Nouwen, from "Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety").
This type of contemplative prayer is less about what we do, and more about what we allow God to do through us. Remember: "the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words." (Romans 8:26)
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Pray in tongues if you have this gift.
In the Catholic Church, we believe that in the Holy Eucharist (also known as the Blessed Sacrament), Jesus is literally and wholly present—body and blood, soul and divinity—under the appearances of bread and wine. This has been the belief of the Church since the beginnings of Christianity, following Jesus’ teaching in St John’s Gospel: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
The white host displayed on the altar in the monstrance has been consecrated at Mass (Eucharist) and is the Real Presence of Jesus, whom we are invited to adore and pray to. As He said: “...my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
What is the connection with Charismatic Renewal?
ADoRE is a charismatic group, and many people associate charismatics with joyful, loud praise – which of course we do too. But we also place a great importance on silent Adoration of Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament because it focusses us on the fact that everything we do is through, with and in the Lord Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And it’s an opportunity for encouraging the charisms of prophecy, wisdom and discernment, which can in turn lead to the charisms of healing and miracles.
From Adoration to Evangelisation
Adoration is a powerful foundation for Evangelisation: if we want to tell people about God's amazing love for them, we need to be soaked in His love ourselves. As we gaze upon the real Jesus present in the Eucharist, we become immersed in His mercy and love for us, which will overflow into the lives of others.
“In order to evangelize the world, we need experts in celebration, adoration, and contemplation of the Holy Eucharist” (Pope John Paul II).
Sit (or kneel) comfortably and breathe slowly. Focus on being in God's presence. "Be still and know that I am God."
Rather than detailed prayers, it can be helpful to repeat simple heartfelt words such as "My Lord and my God!" "Lord, I believe: help my unbelief." "Jesus I trust in you." "Thank you Jesus for loving and saving me." Or the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me."
Imagine you are sunbathing in God's radiance and love. "Speak Lord, your servant is listening." Stop speaking and just listen, with your whole being surrendered to Him.
Dealing with distractions
Every ADoRE meeting has 10-15 minutes of Adoration. What is it all about and how can you benefit from it?
“One cannot know the Lord without this habit of adoring, of adoring in silence. I believe, if I am not mistaken, this prayer of adoration is the prayer least known by us, it is the one we do the least, as if it were a 'waste of time before the Lord, before the mystery of Jesus Christ'. Instead, we should rediscover the silence of Adoration: he is the Lord and I adore him”. Pope Francis, Morning meditation, 20th October 2016.
What you've told us
Here is some feedback from ADoRE attendees:
"I found surrendering to the Presence of Christ deeply healing and liberating - it allowed me to respond to the prophetic sharing at a very deep level.”
"As Jesus is present both in the Holy Mass and Adoration in body, soul and divinity it is a privilege to be in His Holy presence and His Blessings and Graces remained with me throughout the retreat."
"I always love the intentional silence of adoration"
"Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was very deep and meaningful to me."
"Adoration is always so special."
"Adoration brings me closer to God."
"I really appreciate space and quiet in worship."