"All of us, gazing on the Lord's glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into His very image by the Lord Who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18
Jesus promised to be with us always even to the end of the world (Mt 28:20). At the Last Supper, He said: "This is My body," "This is My blood" (Mk 14:22, 24), and "Do this as a remembrance of Me" (Lk 22:19). After receiving the Holy Spirit, the early Church began to realize what Jesus did at the Last Supper, and they "devoted themselves" to "the breaking of bread," that is, Mass and Communion (Acts 2:42).
The Holy Spirit will give us a desire, as He did in the early Church, to receive Jesus every day in Holy Communion. However, that will not be sufficient, and we will wish for communion to last longer. Because of this desire, to prolong communion, the Spirit led the Church to extend communion by adoration and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Church teaches that the faithful must be given the opportunity to "easily, fruitfully, and constantly honor the Lord, present in the sacrament, through personal worship" (Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, 9). "To visit the Blessed Sacrament is...a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord" (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, 66) (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1418). We are encouraged to make visits to church, spend time in adoration, and celebrate benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Although the Church strongly encourages eucharistic adoration and exposition, in many places churches are largely deserted; "40 Hours" is diminishing; and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is rare. How can we restore adoration and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament?
(1) Fall in love with Jesus.
(2) Let the Spirit fill you with a desire for "the breaking of bread."
(3) Invite others to daily Mass.
(4) Talk to your pastor about beginning a holy hour, a day of prayer, or a daily schedule of adoration and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
The key to restoring adoration and exposition is to renew a number of people in their relationship with the Lord and fill them with the power of the Holy Spirit. Adoration and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament both depends on and furthers authentic renewal. Pope John Paul II teaches: "The encouragement and the deepening of eucharistic worship are proofs of that authentic renewal which the Council set itself as an aim and of which they are the central point" (On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist, 9).
After the Lord has brought about renewal in the hearts of a few people, we should propose to our pastor a weekly time of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. If he is not open to this, we should propose exposition on a trial basis. If he is still not open, we should pray, put it in the hands of God, and not be upset with the pastor. Many pastors will be open to exposition of the Blessed Sacrament if they see there are a few people interested. Furthermore, a priest does not have to be present, since an extraordinary eucharistic minister can begin and conclude exposition.
In conclusion, "the Church and the world have a great need of eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world. May our adoration never cease" (Pope John Paul II, On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist, 3).
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 25, 1996
Imprimatur: Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 29, 1996
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com