Eucharistic Adoration is at the heart of the life of the Daughters of St. Paul. Our Founder, Blessed James Alberione, told us that it was the great font of holiness.
Blessed James Alberione often spoke of the Eucharist as central to our Christian life and vocation. The Eucharist is the highest form of prayer because: 1) the Eucharist is the memorial of Jesus’ saving passion, death, and resurrection, whereby He offers Himself again to the Father for us and with us; 2) the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ; Jesus is really and truly present under the form of bread and wine; 3) in receiving Communion, we receive Christ Himself and are intimately united with Him and with the entire Church.
For Alberione, Eucharistic adoration helps us to participate more fully in the Eucharistic Celebration because it enables us to ponder the tremendous mystery of Christ’s self-giving love that we celebrate at Mass. Calling the Hour of Adoration “the school of Jesus Master,” Blessed James compared it to the time the first disciples spent coming to know, love, and follow the loving Teacher who called them. He also referred to the Hour of Adoration as “the Visit,” an expression which signifies the intimate and intensely personal nature of this prayer.
The actual method of making a Pauline hour of adoration and its simple structure follows the three-fold definition Jesus gave Himself as Way, Truth, and Life. The hour of adoration is divided into three “moments,” or parts. A rigid time constraint is not important; what is essential is that time be given to each of these three moments.
Adoring Jesus Truth
In the first part, we adore Jesus, listening attentively to His Word to us today and letting His truth shape our minds and attitudes.
Either at the beginning of the hour of adoration or beforehand, we can choose a theme for the hour, or ask for a particular grace. We begin with a hymn or prayer of adoration. We choose or remember the theme of our hour of adoration.
Then, asking the light of the Holy Spirit, we read a passage of Scripture, chosen according to the theme, and adore Jesus in His Word. We listen attentively, not only with our ears, but also with our hearts, letting Jesus Truth enlighten us and give us new understanding and insight. We can reread the Scripture passage, or converse with Jesus about how it touches our life and what it means for us today, in our situation. The reading may be long or short. What is important is to leave time for reflection, allowing Jesus’ saving Word to enlighten us here and now. After about twenty minutes, we conclude by responding to the Word of God with an act of faith, an affirmation of our belief in and our commitment to Christ.
Following Jesus Way
Having just recommitted ourselves to Christ, we now turn to contemplate Jesus as our Way and our Model, and we look more closely at our relationship with Him.
Taking up the theme of the Scripture passage and our reflection, we contemplate God’s action in our own lives. First, we thank God for the many and marvelous ways we have been touched by God’s loving gifts. As we become aware of God’s many blessings, we realize that we have often failed to respond to those blessings. We then confront our lives with Jesus’ words and example. We ask ourselves how Jesus is calling us to follow Him more closely and how we need to change—in our attitudes, actions, or desires—so that we can become more like Him. Then, we express our sorrow for our sinfulness and renew our resolve to more faithfully follow our loving Master in the concrete way we live our life. We can also renew our trust that God will give us the graces we need to change. Jesus wants us to trust in Him. He wants us to be His presence in the world today.
Sharing Jesus’ Life
Converted anew, we try to open our hearts completely to Jesus Life, to let His sustaining grace and peace touch our hearts so that we can bring that same peace and love to others.
In this third part, we unite ourselves to Jesus Life, and contemplate His love for the Father, for all humanity, and for each of us. We bring to God our own needs and the needs of the world. Prayer, in this third part, can be offered spontaneously, spilling from the fullness of our hearts, or it can take the form of the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, the Liturgy of the Hours, a psalm, or other prayers. This is time for “prayer of the heart,” that is, letting ourselves be loved by the Lord, sharing with God our needs and our deepest desires, and asking to be transformed into witnesses of His love and truth.
We conclude our hour of adoration with an act of love and return to daily life not only refreshed and renewed, but more aware of our call to bring the fullness of our life in Christ to the world in which we live and work.
Everything from the Tabernacle
The most holy Eucharist is the principal sacrament.
As, for example, the water in Baptism—
but it contains the Author of grace—Jesus Christ—
in His Body, Blood, soul, and divinity.
Live a Eucharistic Day
It is a good practice to make the Host the day’s foundation.This means making the day Eucharistic. Spend the morning [after Mass] in thanksgiving, displaying the fruits of a holy joy, working “through Him, with Him, and in Him,” to the glory of the most Blessed Trinity.From midday to the following morning start your preparation by offering, sanctifying, and carrying out your various duties with your heart in tune with the Dweller in the tabernacle. Our Comfort and StrengthThe Eucharist is a source of strength, light, joy, courage, grace, holiness, and so on.The one who is tired, or sad, or bored with daily duty, will find comfort and strength in the Eucharist.
In the Eucharist Jesus becomes our nourishment, so that His divine Heart may assimilate ours and make it one with His.
Jesus Christ is present in the world not only in His Mystical Body; he is [also] physically present—truly, really, substantially—in the tabernacle. Every good in the Church and in souls comes from the Mass, the Real Presence, and Communion—an overflowing spring of life-giving water, life-giving sap, that rises in the sacraments and sacramentals. Souls have to reach this source, this union with Jesus; everything else is a means. With Mary’s eucharistic spirit we must implore everything from Jesus, Divine Master, present in the Host.