Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ…As I struggled to exhort you to sign up for Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament at St. John’s Church in Cromwell, I realized that although I know what it is I did not have the vocabulary to describe it adequately. Consequently, I then realized that perhaps some of you might not have a clear idea of what I meant by Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Here are some definitions and excerpts from the Catechism that might help inform you and clarify what we mean by Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament:
First, what do we mean by the Most Blessed Sacrament? The catechism defines it as “the name given to the Holy Eucharist, especially when consecrated elements received in the tabernacle for adoration, or for the sick.” Excerpts from the catechism say the following:
1330…We speak of the Most Blessed Sacrament because it is the Sacrament of sacraments. The Eucharist species reserved in the tabernacle are designated by this same name.
Other excerpts can be found in paragraphs 1322-1344.
What do we mean by Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament? The catechism defines adoration as “the acknowledgement of God as Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists. Through worship and prayer, the Church and individual persons give to God the adoration which is the first act of the virtue of religion. The first commandment of the Law obliges us to adore God.” Excerpts from the catechism say the following about adoration:
2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful love. “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only should you serve,” says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy.13
2628 Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us99 and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is the homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,”100 respectful silence in the presence of the “ever greater” God.101 Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications.
On a personal note, I understand that this may come off as an additional obligation, but our broken nature is such that God has to command us and once we surrender in obedience out of humility and trust to the witness of someone else, we find that sitting and kneeling before the Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament is not a trying ordeal, but a true blessing where we find that the Lord is actually ministering to us as we sit in silence before him. Indeed, “who are we that God is so mindful of us” (Ps 8)? Here we find at a much deeper level how truly great and loving our “Daddy God” truly is. Try it. You’ll like it.
Fr. Michael Phillippino