Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 6th, St. Alfred Parish will begin Eucharistic Adoration in the Chapel following the 8am Mass. Thereafter, this beautiful devotion will take place from Monday to Friday, following the morning Mass and concluding with Benediction at 8:45pm. The chapel was recently painted and beautified, making it the perfect setting to contemplate, adore and praise, and pray for the various needs that we are asked to pray for before Our Lord.
What is the purpose of Eucharistic Adoration?
The Eucharist is the greatest gift given to the Church, the abiding presence of Jesus who desires to feeds us, heal us, strengthens us and mould us into His own Body. At the Second Vatican Council, the Church Fathers wrote “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.” (Lumem Gentium 11)
In other words, all our activities of prayer and good works gain their strength from the celebration of the Eucharist. They lead us back to future celebrations whereby we can renew and deepen our commitment to the Christian life. However, our lives are so busy, and even soon after we receive Communion, we are drawn into so many obligations that disconnect us from the reality of who we are as members of His Body. Adoration, then, becomes a means to remember the One whom we have received and to long for an even deeper Communion with each future celebration of the Eucharist.
Maybe we could express it more simply by citing the beautiful words of Jesus that he speaks at the Last Supper: “Remain with Me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me, and I in them will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing.”
Silence before the Mystery of Love.
The act of remaining in Jesus is an act that is done in silence. Silence sometimes is uncomfortable for people. We feel that if we are not saying something to God, we are not really praying. We are afraid that our silence will soon lead to our minds wandering; while our bodies may be in a posture of prayer, our brain is at the supermarket or work or making lists of things we need to get done this day. How much Jesus desires us to rest in Him: “Be still and know that I am God!”
Our self-reliance leads to internal chatter. However, to have the Eucharist as a visible focus for our eyes will allow us to be drawn back into a peace as we recognize in Jesus that he really is in charge of our lives. In that silence we focus our minds, hearts and souls, experiencing a deep peace that He alone can give. A peace that assures us that we are indeed loved. A peace that reminds us that right relationship with Him is really all that matters.
Making a commitment.
As we begin Eucharistic Adoration in our parish, we know that many will be drawn to take advantage of entering and remaining in the peaceful presence of the Lord. Nevertheless, we want to make sure that
each hour of adoration is covered by someone on a regular basis. In most parishes that have Eucharistic Adoration, a person will sign up to be present for a particular day at a particular hour each week. We have “sign up” sheets in the foyer. So you may want to pray and ask the Lord if He is calling you to make a commitment to be present at Adoration. The Church asks that there always be someone present in the chapel when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Through our sign-up list, we can make sure that each hour is appropriately covered and that adoration can take place in a manner that is dignified and reverent for all. I have no doubt that St. Alfred Parish will receive many graces through Eucharistic Devotion and will draw all of us ever closer to the heart of our Lord and Savoiur, Jesus Christ.
“Could you not stay awake with Me for just one hour?