Campus Ministry > Eucharistic Adoration
The Mass held in Contemplation
Eucharistic Adoration is nothing more than the Mass held in contemplation. Ever since the time of Christ, Catholics have understood the consecrated host to be actually Jesus Himself. For Adoration, the consecrated host is placed in the tabernacle or in a vessel called a monstrance. (A monstrance allows it to be held up and seen.) While the Mass is always a communal action by the People of God, Adoration is a more private audience with Jesus truly present. Thus, it's an incredibly powerful way to pray. Though rooted deeply in the history of Christianity (there is some evidence that it occurred even in the very earliest periods of Church history), the last two decades of the twentieth century have witnessed an explosion of this kind of prayer. Naturally tied to the renewal of the Eucharistic Liturgy (the Mass), the renewal of Eucharistic devotion seems to be a prominent and ever-emerging fruit of the Second Vatican Council. It seems like all the biggest Catholic youth programs today emphasize this way of prayer. By the year 2000 the Church in the United States had been blessed with over 6,000 special parish programs of organized weekly or daily Eucharistic Adoration. The movement is growing. Hundreds of Churches across America currently have programs of perpetual or nearly perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
Eucharistic Adoration in the Congregation of Holy Cross
“Among the practices of piety in use in our congregation, there is one which I cannot recommend strongly enough, my dear sons and daughters in Jesus Christ, because its faithful practice is the richest source of divine blessings for us and for our houses. I refer to the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.”
- Fr. Basil Moreau (Circular Letter 79 - 1857)
For almost all of its history, the men of the Congregation of Holy Cross have made visits to the tabernacle or monstrance a key element of their spiritual life. Fr. Basil Moreau, the founder of the congregation, thought these visits were so important that he set up a program of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration for the entire congregation. This went on continuously for 27 years. Spiritual giants of Holy Cross like Blessed Br. Andre Bessette, the so-called "Miracle Man of Montreal", have enthusiastically recommended and encouraged this form of prayer. Even in today's modern and diverse spiritual atmosphere, Eucharistic Adoration commonly takes place in many houses and institutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross worldwide.
Eucharistic Adoration at Holy Cross College
We at Holy Cross College have benefited greatly from the spiritual patrimony of the Congregation of Holy Cross. It is within the context of the Congregation's spiritual leadership that interest in Eucharistic Adoration has emerged from our student body. In the great Jubilee Year of 2000, a group of students initiated a weekly period of Eucharistic Adoration. Since the fall semester of 2000, every semester students sign up to pray quietly in front of the Blessed Sacrament for a half hour between six o'clock and midnight on Tuesday evenings. The spiritual fruits have been profound. While most of our students like to simply drop in at their convenience, we have covered the required twenty-four time slots. (Not bad for such a small school!) Today, the Office of Campus Ministry organizes and runs the Tuesday Eucharistic Adoration. Though it remains a student driven undertaking, this lends stability and better organization to the program of prayer. It is also noteworthy that from the beginning, Eucharistic Adoration has been one of the most popular elements of the Spes Unica retreats sponsored by Campus Ministry.
15 Reasons Why I'm a Believer in Eucharistic Adoration.
By Robert Kloska, Vice President for Mission Advancement
- I've seen the fruit in the lives of people who do it. My students have told me remarkable stories about things that happen when they pray this way.
- Adoration helps me to be faithful to prayer even though I'm usually tired or distracted.
- When else do I take the time to sit down in silence and focus on my relationship with Christ?
- Even when I fall asleep or daydream, I think He digs the fact that I faithfully came to see Him.
- It's a great place to read the Bible. If I have any questions, I can just ask!
- Small miracles happen consistently when I pray this way.
- It's a sort of far-fetched concept that requires the faith of a child — the same sort of faith Jesus says I need!
- I get flooded with good ideas for my life and work when I'm doing it.
- If I sit quietly long enough, I start to hear Him talking to me.
- Helps me to feel at peace and close to Him.
- Three wise men got mentioned in the Bible for doing approximately the same thing.
- My dad does it a lot and he's really a good guy.
- After we started Adoration here, our other programs really started to take off. Do the math.
- My wife likes what it does to my attitude.
- If it really is Jesus sitting on that altar, it must be the most powerful force on earth!