by Fr Richard Heilman | July 9, 2016 10:20 AM
Pope Francis encouraged everyone to visit the Blessed Sacrament every day, if possible, in a message for of the upcoming Eucharistic Congress in Genoa, Italy.
“On this happy occasion which is offered to us, I encourage all the Faithful to always honor the most blessed Eucharist,” the Pope said in the message, which was addressed to the president of the Italian Bishop’s Conference, Cardinal Agnelo Bagnasco.
Citing the Second Vatican Council document Sacrosantum Concilium, the Pope referred to the Eucharist as “a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity,” and he called the faithful to be nourished by it “in order to be fraternally united among themselves, and cooperate in the building of the Church and the good of the world.”
“Moreover, I want to encourage everyone to visit – if possible, every day – especially amid life’s difficulties, the Blessed Sacrament of the infinite love of Christ and His mercy, preserved in our churches, and often abandoned, to speak filially with Him, to listen to Him in silence, and to peacefully entrust yourself to Him.”
I cannot count the amount of conversion/reversion stories I have heard that revolve around people’s experience of Adoration. Many of these stories recount how they had fallen away from the faith for years, and then “somehow” found their way to Adoration. Virtually all of these stories speak of moving into an ALL-IN “devout” relationship with God from that point on … no matter where their faith was at prior to this experience.
Very simply … We have lost a sense of the supernatural, and Adoration restores this!!
Based on these stats from Fr. Z’s blog (The USCCB released survey results of the 2014 class of ordinands) … It appears that a high number of priestly vocations are coming out of these experiences of Adoration.
My own theory is that the Mass used to have a “quality of Adoration” and, therefore, a “sense of the supernatural” before the post-Vatican II implementation of many innovations that moved from a “God-centered” to a “man-centered” liturgy. We simply must restore transcendent beauty to the Mass (and our art, architecture and music) once again!
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen spent an hour everyday in Adoration:
The reason I keep up the Holy Hour is to grow more and more into his likeness. As Paul puts it: “We are transfigured into his likeness, from splendor to splendor.” We become like that which we gaze upon. Looking into a sunset, the face takes on a golden glow. Looking at the Eucharistic Lord for an hour transforms the heart in a mysterious way as the face of Moses was transformed after his companionship with God on the mountain. Something happens to us similar to that which happened to the disciples at Emmaus. On Easter Sunday afternoon when the Lord met them, he asked why they were so gloomy. After spending some time in his presence, and hearing again the secret of spirituality – “The Son of Man must suffer to enter into his Glory” – their time with him ended and their “hearts were on fire” …
So the Holy Hour, quite apart from all its positive spiritual benefits, kept my feet from wandering too far. Being tethered to a tabernacle, one’s rope for finding other pastures is not so long. That dim tabernacle lamp, however pale and faint, had some mysterious luminosity to darken the brightness of “bright lights.” The Holy Hour became like an oxygen tank to revive the breath of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the foul and fetid atmosphere of the world. Even when it seemed so unprofitable and lacking in spiritual intimacy, I still had the sensation of being at least like a dog at the master’s door, ready in case he called me.
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