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"In the Eucharist, the Son of God comes to meet us and desires to become one with us; eucharistic adoration is simply the natural consequence of the eucharistic celebration, which is itself the Church's supreme act of adoration.
"Receiving the Eucharist means adoring Him whom we receive. Only in this way do we become one with Him, and are given, as it were, a foretaste of the beauty of the heavenly liturgy. The act of adoration outside Mass prolongs and intensifies all that takes place during the liturgical celebration itself.
Pope Benedict XVI - Sacramentum Caritatis 66
Pope Benedict XVI on Eucharistic Adoration
- from his meeting with members of the Roman clergy
March 2, 2006
"Thanks be to God that after the Council, after a period in which the sense of Eucharistic Adoration was somewhat lacking, the joy of this adoration was reborn everywhere in the Church, as we saw and heard at the Synod on the Eucharist. Of course, the conciliar Constitution on the Liturgy enabled us to discover to the full the riches of the Eucharist in which the Lord's testament is accomplished: he gives himself to us and we respond by giving ourselves to him.
"We have now rediscovered, however, that without adoration as an act consequent to Communion received, this centre which the Lord gave to us, that is, the possibility of celebrating his sacrifice and thus of entering into a sacramental, almost corporeal, communion with him, loses its depth as well as its human richness.
"Adoration means entering the depths of our hearts in communion with the Lord, who makes himself bodily present in the Eucharist. In the monstrance, he always entrusts himself to us and asks us to be united with his Presence, with his risen Body."
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy
(link to the Vatican web site)
Principles and Guidelines
164. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a form of Eucharistic cult [devotion] that is particularly widespread in the Church and earnestly recommended to her Pastors and faithful. Its initial form derives from Holy Thursday and the Altar of Repose, following the celebration of the Coena Domini [Lord's Supper] Mass. This adoration is a most apt way of expressing the connection between the celebration of the memorial of the Lord's Sacrifice and His continued presence in the Sacrament of the Altar. The reservation of the Sacred Species, so as to be able to administer Viaticum [also known as "Last Rites" or Sacrament of the Sick] to the sick at any time, encouraged the practice among the faithful of recollection before the tabernacle and to worship Christ present in the Sacrament (175).
"Indeed, this worship or adoration has a sound and firm foundation", (109) especially since faith in the Lord's Real Presence has as its natural consequence the outward and public manifestation of that belief. Therefore, the devotion prompting the faithful to visit the Blessed Sacrament draws them into an ever deeper share in the Paschal mystery and leads them to respond gratefully to the gift of Him who through His humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of His Body. (110) Abiding with Christ the Lord, they enjoy His intimate friendship and pour out their hearts before Him for themselves and for those dear to them, and they pray for the peace and salvation of the world. Offering their entire lives with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, they derive from this sublime colloquy an increase of faith, hope, and charity. Thus they foster those right dispositions that enable them with due devotion to celebrate the memorial of the Lord and receive frequently the Bread given us by the Father.(176)
165. In adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which can take different forms, several elements deriving from the Liturgy and from popular piety come together and it is not always easy to determine their limits (177):
The faithful should be encouraged to read the Scriptures during these periods of adoration, since they afford an unrivalled source of prayer. Suitable hymns and canticles based on those of the Liturgy of the Hours and the liturgical seasons could also be encouraged, as well as periods of silent prayer and reflection. Gradually, the faithful should be encouraged not to do other devotional exercises during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (180). Given the close relationship between Christ and Our Lady, the Rosary can always be of assistance in giving prayer a Christological orientation, since it contains meditation of the Incarnation and the Redemption (181).
[Note - Footnotes in the original text are indicated in parentheses, but not included here.]
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Related links to the Adoremus website:
The Holy Eucharist -- Resources for Adoration - Benediction - Devotions - Doctrine - Study
The Year of the Eucharist 2004-2005 - Collection of Articles, Documents, and Dioceses' activities during the Year of the Eucharist.
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