The first reason is practical. The more we limit the hours of Adoration, the more we limit the availability of Christ to His people. And with people being so busy today, only a few can respond to the Lord’s invitation “Could you not watch one hour with Me?,” when we only have one hour or a few hours (of Adoration) during the week. The more we expand the hours the more we extend the opportunity. When a chapel is opened all the time, then everyone in the parish can participate, because everyone thinks “well, definitely, I can find at least one hour once a week to go to be with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”
When the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Blessed Mother and told Mary that she was to be the Mother of Jesus, her response was “How can this be, I know not man?” And many people, when we present to them the Church’s teaching and doctrine on transubstantiation, also say “How can this be?” The answer that the Angel gave to Mary about how she was to be the Mother of Jesus, is the very answer that explains how the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the wine becomes the Precious Blood of Christ. The Angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most High shall overshadow you.” And in that same wonderful passage it says, “For with God all things are possible.”
The Pope calls the whole people of God to a personal relationship with Jesus, Our Savior, in the Blessed Sacrament. Without coming before Him in quiet moments of prayer, then we diminish our faith in His Real Presence. It’s by taking time out to be with Him in the Blessed Sacrament that this relationship with Our Lord begins to increase, and grow and blossom. If a husband and wife do not take time out to speak, to bond, to be together, that relationship is going to diminish. If they do take time out to be together it’s a sign that they value each other’s company, it’s a sign that their relationship, their friendship, their bond means so much to them. Jesus takes time out.
It is we who have the authentic answer for a personal relationship with Jesus, our Savior, because in going before Him in the Blessed Sacrament we go before Him Who is with us in person. The richer our personal relationship with Jesus our Savior is, then the more capacity we have to love each other and to be merciful and compassionate. It’s in going before the Blessed Sacrament that we take on His attributes, His qualities, whereby in seeing ourselves so much loved by Him, it gives us the capacity to love each other.
Bishop Sheen made a Holy Hour once a day, Pope St. John Paul II makes two Holy Hours every day, and Mother Teresa made three Holy Hours in the Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, every single day. And we see the fruitfulness of their lives. And that serves as a model, as an example, that our lives will be fruitful also, when we unite ourselves to the vine, Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
The Lord calls us to build community and a civilization of love. But the very basic requirement of that is a healthy, happy, loving relationship with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, who said “I am the vine and you are the branches.” There is the personal relationship. “Remain in union with Me,” He’s calling us to a personal relationship. “Remain in union with Me and I will remain in union with you, for whoever remains in union with Me will bear much fruit.” And part of that fruit is the capacity to love as He loves.
Perpetual Adoration builds community. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of unity, Jesus unifying His people. Today a growing number of people feel alienated from the Church. They feel lost among the multitudes. Perpetual Adoration helps those people feel more personally involved with Christ, His Church and the People of God. Through the intimacy of quiet prayer with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, one experiences the personal love of the Savior. Through this personal love, one is more able to grasp the reality that they are one with the whole Body of Christ.
We are beyond human solution. We need a Divine intervention. And that Divine intervention will come through the power of the Blessed Sacrament. There was a woman in the Gospel who said, “All I have to do is touch but the end of His garment and I will be healed.” And Jesus turned around and said, “Who touched Me, because I felt power coming from Me.” Those who go before the Blessed Sacrament touch the Heart of Jesus with their faith and release His power, His healing Love, His graces and blessings upon the whole world. The power, the Pope said, is this, that “anyone who goes before our Savior in the Blessed Sacrament draws the world and everybody in the world closer to Christ and lifts the whole world up to God the Father for His blessing.” That in touching the Heart of Jesus, with that act of faith you touch the heart of all humanity and every man, woman and child experiences a new effect of God’s goodness, of God’s grace, of God’s love.
Perpetual Adoration is affirmation of our faith. Through this constant vigil of prayer, we give witness to our belief that God is truly dwelling with His people.
Perpetual Adoration is a message in itself of the importance of coming to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Perpetual Adoration is making the Good Shepherd available to His people with the constant miracles of His grace and love. Perpetual Adoration is letting the Good Shepherd work with His people all the time!
St. Paul says that, “Faith comes through hearing, and how are they to hear unless there is someone to preach?” And Pope St. John Paul II is now calling the whole people of God to preach:
- that every holy hour draws the world and everybody in the world closer to Christ and lifts the whole world up to God the Father for his blessing
- that when we go before the Blessed Sacrament we stand in behalf of that one person in the world in most need of God’s mercy, and we bring down upon their soul the Precious Blood of The Lamb so that they go to Heaven to be with God for all eternity, instead of going to hell
- that by our Holy Hours of prayer we will contribute to the radical transformation of the world...
We need to respond to the appeal of Pope St. John Paul II and evangelize. The laity need to learn to evangelize each other and go out into the parish. The Pope said this is the age for Eucharistic Evangelization and he called upon every parish to have Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, because he said that this is what will bring about God’s Kingdom on earth and everlasting peace to all mankind.
Perpetual Adoration lasts as long as Our Lord’s love for us in the Blessed Sacrament lasts. As long as Jesus loves us enough to want to be with us day and night, then we want to love Him enough to be with Him day and night.
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Why Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
On February 24, 1980, Pope St. John Paul II issued the encyclical letter Dominicae Cenae (On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist). In that document he says of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration: “May our adoration never cease.” This is precisely what Perpetual Adoration is: adoration that never ceases.
On December 2, 1981, Pope St. John Paul II began Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In his opening prayer, “Stay with us, Lord,” the Pope urged all parishes to begin Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
Upon his arrival in Seoul, Korea on October 7, 1989 for the 44th International Eucharistic Congress, the Pope went to Good Shepherd Parish, which has Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. In his homily there he said: “It is most fitting that my first stop among the Korean people should be in a Church such as this, where the minds of the faithful are constantly raised up in adoration before Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.”
In his homily at the 45th International Eucharistic Congress in Seville, Spain in June 1993, the Holy Father said: “In fact, Perpetual Adoration, held in so many Churches of the city, in several of them held even during the night, has been an enriching feature and characteristic of this Congress. I hope that this form of Perpetual Adoration, with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, will continue into the future. Specifically, I hope that the fruit of this Congress results in the establishment of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world.”
In addition, it should be noted that many Bishops, throughout the United States and world, have both begun and promulgated Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration with Exposition in their dioceses. By the same token, many priests in our country and across the globe have also established Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration with Exposition in their Churches. On our Website are testimonies of just some of these Bishops and Priests (see Pamphlet section for: "Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Increases Vocations" and "Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Blesses Priests" pamphlets), which can also be found in both our Starter Kit.
Article 90 of The Roman Ritual, revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI, Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass states: “The form of adoration in which one or two members of the community take turns before the Blessed Sacrament is also to be maintained and highly commended.” This quotation was taken from the section discussing Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration with Exposition.
Some have said that it is not necessary to have exposition to have Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, because Jesus is just as present in the tabernacle. The difference between spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance and spending time with Him in the tabernacle is the same as the difference between conversing with a friend face-to-face and conversing with them with a closed door between both of you. Many adorers feel that seeing Jesus visibly under the appearance of the small white host is much more conducive to intimacy than hidden away in tabernacle. Moreover, it helps adorers to be faithful to their hours for which they are scheduled because they know that Jesus cannot be left alone in the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance, whereas He can be left alone in the tabernacle. With exposition, the scheduled adorers are guardians of the Blessed Sacrament as well as adorers, so their presence is necessary.
In the most simplistic sense, the reason for having Exposition of Jesus as opposed to visiting Him in the tabernacle is because it is much more Personal. If you talk to your Mother or friend you would talk to them face to face, not through a closed door.
It is much easier to spend time with Our Eucharistic Lord and to increase our belief in Him, by gazing at His Presence, and adoring Him "Face to face." One can more efficaciously be drawn into contemplation when they can gaze upon Our Eucharistic Lord.
When we tell people that we believe Jesus is TRULY present and PERSONALLY present in the Most Blessed Sacrament and rarely expose Him, who will take us seriously? He deigned to become man two thousand years ago, and unto this day He has deigned to remain with us under the appearance of bread. God longs to be with His People and to have a PERSONAL relationship with them. He remains with us not to be hidden in our tabernacles, but to be adored and made known.
By having Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, we proclaim to our parish communities and to the world that Jesus is Here. It has been said that how we worship tells others what we believe. When we expose Jesus in His Eucharistic Glory then people know that we believe it is really Him.
As you know, Jesus is Truly and PERSONALLY present in the Eucharist - Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. The Church has called upon the faithful to "open the doors of the Church." What better way to "open the doors" then to unlock the gift of His Eucharistic Presence and Love?
Jesus said, "And I, when I am lifted up, will draw all men to myself." Through Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration with Exposition He is lifted up and will draw all unto Him, through His Eucharistic Heart.
“Perpetual Adoration with exposition needs a great push. People ask me: ‘What will convert America and save the world?’ My answer is prayer. What we need is for every Parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Hours of prayer,” Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta.