Tag Archives: adoration

I’m Waiting for You

15 Mar

aaa“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you” (Lk. 22:15). Jesus, fully human and fully God, has an eternal perspective, so think about the thousands of years God had been waiting to reveal the fullness of His love through the first Eucharist. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us of the preparation on a human level that went into that first Eucharist, but think of the centuries of preparation that went into it from a divine perspective. Jesus desired that moment because it was the moment in which He could invite His disciples to share in His very life and love in the most intimate of ways.

That same eager desire Jesus had for sharing His life and love with the first disciples is the same eager desire He has to share His life and love with our family. Jesus has been planning to share the Eucharistic meal for centuries with us and our children, and it is the place where we can be most reassured of His presence and protection. The Eucharist is where our desire for God meets His desire for us, and it is the most important lesson we can pass along to our children.

As we enter into Holy Week this Palm Sunday, let us seize the opportunities to teach our children about the desire God has to meet with us through the Mass. If we are able, let’s take an extra 15 minutes to stop by the adoration chapel before or after work, to bring our children there, or even to attend the great liturgical celebrations of this Holy Week. Jesus is waiting to encounter us!

The foregoing is this week’s installment of the “Marriage Minute,” produced by the Marriage and Family Life Office of the Archdiocese, which attempts to view the Sunday readings through the lens of the Sacrament of Marriage.

Pope Francis’ Intentions for April 2014

1 Apr

Following are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of April, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
  • Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The Church has traditionally recommended an increased devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist during the month of April.

“The Church in the course of the centuries has introduced various forms of this Eucharistic worship which are ever increasing in beauty and helpfulness; as, for example, visits of devotion to the tabernacles, even every day; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; solemn processions, especially at the time of Eucharistic Congresses, which pass through cities and villages; and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament publicly exposed . . . These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven, which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb ‘Who was slain.’” –Pope Pius XII

“The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. . . . It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species. . . . This practice, repeatedly praised and recommended by the Magisterium,is supported by the example of many saints. Particularly outstanding in this regard was Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote: ‘Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.’The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace.” –Blessed John Paul II

Genuflection 101

12 Apr

Not long ago someone posed this question to me:

I know we are always to genuflect when entering and leaving the church for Mass. But are we supposed to genuflect when coming for non-Masses, such as parent meetings for Confirmation?

This is a very good question for all of us to consider, even if we automatically genuflect whenever we enter a church. “Automatically” could mean a virtue, a godly habit. But it could also mean a mindless act that we do without considering why we do it. So, let’s look at this issue a little more closely.

Genuflection is the bending of the right knee to the floor and then rising again to a standing position as an act of reverence toward Our Lord, who is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the most Blessed Sacrament. As St. Paul wrote, even at the name of Jesus, every knee must bend (Phil. 2:10). Even more, we should bend the knee before the Lord Himself!

We genuflect upon entering a church not strictly because it’s a church building, but because Our Lord is present there in the tabernacle. Typically the tabernacle is in the center of the church, or in some other prominent place indicated by a sanctuary lamp that is kept burning. It is to this Presence that we genuflect.

A couple points. Obviously we reverence the Eucharist during Mass. You will notice, for example, that the priest genuflects immediately after the bread and wine are consecrated, as he acknowledges that Our Lord is now present on the altar.

Christ’s presence in the Eucharist doesn’t end when Mass is over. Hosts remaining after Mass are kept in the tabernacle, both for adoration of Our Lord outside of Mass, and also to give to the sick and dying as needed. Sometimes a large host is exposed in a monstrance for adoration, but even when the Eucharist is simply reserved in the tabernacle we should adore Him there, and one way we do that is by genuflecting when we come into His presence.

It follows, then, that we would genuflect upon entering the presence of the Lord when we walk into a church, regardless of whether we’re there for Mass, for private prayer before Our Lord, or for some other parish event.

The only exception to that would be in the unusual case of the Blessed Sacrament not being reserved in the church. For example, sometimes the Sacrament is removed when the church is being cleaned or renovated, or when the church building is being used for a special (non-liturgical) event such as a concert.

And of course the tabernacle is empty on Good Friday, so this past Friday if we attended Good Friday services we simply bowed to the altar as we entered the church. Whenever the Sacrament is not present in the tabernacle, the sanctuary lamp will not be burning.

Genuflecting may seem like a small thing, but this act of reverence is a building block that will leads to an ever more profound awareness of God’s presence in our midst!