I speak with the Devil every day. I talk to him in Latin. He answers in Italian. I have been wrestling with him, day in day out, for 14 years. — Fr. Gabriele Amorth, Exorcist

 

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Adoration

I would like to talk about Eucharistic Adoration. Adoration is such an incredible devotion. Powerful and intimate. I suppose that in order to talk about Adoration, I should first talk about the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium).

“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us”

Sacrosanctum Concilium

Christ, as a priest in the line of Malchizedek, begins the Passover celebration at the Last Supper. He completes the Passover celebration on the cross: “I thirst” Jn 19:28. ‘Then Jesus, when he had received the vinegar, said: “It is consummated”. And bowing down his head, he surrendered his spirit’. Jn 19:30.

The tie to the Passover and the seed of the Eucharist start much earlier. The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish occurred at the time of Passover. The gospel of John is especially powerful here as Jesus speaks to his disciples of the true bread, given by the Father in heaven:“For the bread of God is he who descends from heaven and gives life to the world” Jn 6:33. “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” Jn 6:35.

Many in the crowd heard this and had trouble with the concept, talking amongst themselves. Jesus heard them and affirmed his statements;“I am the bread of life. Your fathers at manna in the desert, and they died. This is the bread which descends from heaven, so that if anyone will eat from it, he may not die. I am the living bread who descends from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread, he shall live in eternity. And the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world” Jn 6:48-52.

The Jews debated among themselves. How could he say such things? But Jesus did not back down: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” Jn 6:54-57.

I encourage you to read more of John, our Lord is even more emphatic, stressing beyond this passage. The disciples asked Jesus about this saying it was difficult to hear and “who can listen to it?” Jesus does not back down.“Does this offend you?” Jn 6:62. Many disciples left him. He didn’t correct anyone, telling them that they didn’t understand the allegory, etc. Instead, he turns to his apostles and asks, “Do you also want to go away?” Jn 6:68.

Beyond Christ and His apostles, we have a witness to the celebration of the Eucharist all the way back to St. Justin Martyr in about 155 A.D. where he writes to the emperor Antoninus Pius describing the Christian celebration of the Mass.

As the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian faith; the liturgy of the Eucharist, the consecration, the communion rite, are the pinnacle of the Mass.

- with hands outstretched over the offerings, he says:

Bless and approve our offering; make it acceptable to you, an offering in spirit and in truth. Let it become for us the body and blood of Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Lord.

- he joins his hands

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The day before he suffered

- he takes the bread and, raising it a little above the altar, continues:

he took the bread in his sacred hands

- he looks upward

and looking up to heaven, to you, his almighty Father, he gave you thanks and praise. He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:

- he bows slightly

Take this, all of you, and eat it: This is my body which will be given up for you.

- he shows the consecrated host to the people, places it on the paten, and genuflects in adoration. Then he continues:

When supper was ended,

- he takes the chalice and, raising it a little above the altar, continues:

he took the cup. Again he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his disciples, and said:

- he bows slightly

Take this, all of you and drink from it: This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and ever lasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me.

The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease

- Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae

I know this was lengthy, and it just brushes the surface. More to come on adoration. Soon.