I AM the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats THIS bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is MY Flesh for the life of the world." ~ John 6:51
Instead of giving my woefully inadequate theology on the Eucharist, Jesus' presence in it and the profound graces and blessings received from adoration, I'm going to quote the words of St. Peter Julian Eymard. St. Peter Julian was born near Grenoble, France in 1811. He was called to the priesthood at an early age but didn't become one until his ordination as a diocesan priest in 1834. He then became a Marist after that.
Again called by God, he established the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in 1851. This community devoted their lives to Eucharistic adoration and the spreading of the devotion, as well as the preparation of First Communicants for the sacrament of Holy Communion. They also worked closely with the poor. (Aren't the saints always amazingly busy people?)
Of Eucharistic Adoration, St. Peter Julian writes:
"Eucharistic Adoration is the greatest of actions and there is nothing greater or holier we can do on earth then this adoration. To adore is to share the life of Mary on earth when she adored the Word incarnate in her virginal womb, when she adored Him in the crib, on Calvary, in the divine Eucharist.
To adore is to share the life of noble souls on earth, whose love and happiness found expression in the long hours they passed at the foot of the Tabernacle to adore therein the hidden God and to glorify and love Him as much as they could. The Tabernacle was their only reason for loving life; they lived only to consume themselves in the flames of His love.
To adore is to share in the life of the saints in heaven who never cease to praise, bless, and adore the goodness, the love, the glory, the power and the divinity of the Lamb immolated for the love of men and the glory of God the Father.
Eucharistic Adoration is the holiest of actions. It is so because it is the perfect exercise of all the virtues:
Faith is complete and perfect when we adore Jesus Christ hidden, veiled and, as it were, annihilated in the Sacred Host; for that means submission, adoration through all our faculties, all our senses, out of the pure spirit of faith.
Exterior and interior piety, all concentrated on the hidden God, adoring Him by prayer, meditation, external worship and respect; by self-annihilation if it were possible; by humility, penance, purity, and all the other virtues.
Since love is the whole law, we fulfill the whole law when according to the first commandment, we adore our Lord and God.
We can, in adoration, practice perfect charity towards our neighbor by praying for him, by becoming intercessors, victim lambs for his salvation."
"Then Jesus returned to the disciples and found them sleeping. “Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter." Matthew 26:40.
If you are ready to spend an hour with Jesus in adoration I can tell you, from personal experience, that it is life changing. You will find peace, healing, guidance, love, charity, piety and faith grow in you in leaps and bounds by spending one hour with the Lamb of God. To paraphrase the Bible, it restoreth my soul and my cup overflows.
I know of a few churches in my immediate area, of Staten Island, that have hours. My own parish, the Church of the Holy Child has immediate hours available for coverage as it is a perpetual adoration chapel and so does Alba House, which is also a perpetual chapel. St. Clare's and Our Lady Star of the Sea have specific days and hours only. Call your parish for information on if and when adoration is available. You can also look on-line and in the print version of the Catholic New York for adoration in your area.
God called me to adoration and I hope and pray that this humble post finds its way into your heart. If you feel that you cannot visit Him in a committed hour each week, perhaps you will consider dropping by at any time to see Him. That's precisely how I started about 25 years ago and it has led me to be a much better version of myself and has brought me much closer to my love and my Lord. Take the step for yourself, find Jesus on earth and spend time with Him.
God bless and have a beautiful week,