Why do the people come here? For many reasons. But most have come before their Creator to build stone by stone and with His assistance a solid and enduring relationship with Him. For some it is a tremendous struggle until they realize that Jesus Himself provides the foundation, the stones and the grace to perservere. All that we are expected to supply is the labor of cooperation and self-surrender. The more diligent we are in our labor, the greater the structure, the greater the structure the greater the reward. What is the reward? It is a closer more intimate relationship with God. The closer we get, the greater our joy will be.
What kinds of labor are performed to build this relationship with God? We begin by offering, on a regular basis, an hour of our time; perhaps once
a week to be in the Eucharistic Presence of the Lord and to do one or more of the following:
We also worship God by reading the many beautiful prayers of praise contained in the Book of Psalms. Other prayers that pay homage to God
may be found in your favorite prayer book. In addition, we may worship Our Lord by our own spontaneous prayers that come from the heart as a
reaction to the Greatness of God. These are genuine acts of praise meant for Him alone.
TEMPORAL PETITIONS - When family, friends, acquaintances or we ourselves need or want things that are of this world such as:
then we prayerfully Implore Our Lord and ask for what we want, even if it
takes a miracle, but only if it is God's Will that our request be answered.
SPIRITUAL PETITIONS - Not only do we have a body but we also have a soul which needs spiritual nourishment to achieve its ultimate goal, Heaven and the Beatific Vision. Petition God to raise you to the level of holiness He has waiting for you and you alone. Plead with Him to teach you how to know, love and serve Him. Ask for an increase in graces in all the virtues so that you may imitate Our Blessed Mother in the perfection in which she practiced them. Call upon the angels and saints to intercede before the Throne of God for ourselves and others.
Pray for the sick, the dying and those who are homeless or in prison to keep satan from snatching them away in their moments of despair and
confusion. Pray for the spiritual well-being of family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers openly living in mortal sin who will surely go to Hell
without your petitions to God on their behalf. Never forget to include the Poor Souls in Purgatory in your offering of prayers to God.
They, in turn, will become petitioners for you. When you earnestly plead for others, you are twice blest for God not only hears the invocation but He also hears
the voice of the supplicant.
THANKSGIVING - Everything is a good that comes from God and belongs to God. The roads, cars, streetlights, family, friends, clothes, food, trees, grass, sky, mountains, you name it, God created it. Oh yes! So and so is written as the inventor of this gadget or that machine but every inventor was given the talent to invent from God. We owe thanks to God for everything we have and enjoy all day long when we truly comprehend this, we will realize our arrogance for thoughts we have about "our accomplishments" or "our possessions". For in truth we are nothing and owe all that we are and have to God and God alone. Since there is nothing we have that is ours, there is no way we can possibly repay Our Lord for His generosity. However we can and should, at the very least, acknowledge His gifts to us and demonstrate our gratitude through prayers of thanksgiving for the many gifts we receive in abundance daily from Him.
We even need to be thankful for the crosses God sends to us. It is our obligation to accept our crosses because they are God's Holy Will for us.
They are visible signs of His love that He gives to each of us. These sufferings, united to Christ, are our opportunities to grow in holiness. How
many times have we heard from the greatest of saints about the enormous value of suffering. Why so? Because through our sufferings we grow
ever closer to God. And the closer we get to God, the greater our joy will be for all eternity. As Jesus accepted His Father's Will and the cup of
suffering in the garden so should we. (Matthew 26:39).
FORGIVENESS - Appeal to God's Divine Mercy. In the "Diary" of St. Faustina, Jesus says; " I am Love and Mercy itself. (1074) Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. (699) My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. (1485) I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. (1485) The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy. (723)".
When we ask for forgiveness and mercy, we are told by Jesus that we have to forgive and be merciful to others, "For if you forgive men their trepasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trepasses." (Matthew 6:14-15). Jesus tells us to forgive without limit when He told Peter he must forgive His brother, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21).
God wants us to approach His Divine Mercy and obtain sacramental forgiveness by going to Confession to reconcile our relationship
with Him. It is through the sacrament of reconciliation that we receive God's forgiveness for our sins as well as an abundance of graces to help us to maintain
our relationship with Him. Penance is a sacrament of forgiveness and peace. When we lose God, we lose our joy.
PENANCE & REPARATION - Many horrible sins are committed against Jesus Christ who offered Himself as a victim for the reparation of sins. Sins of blasphemies at war with the Holy Name, invalid and graceless Holy Communions, sacrileges that oppose and profane the Sacred Host, infidelity and unfaithfulness of and abuse toward His love for us, disobedience to His Holy Laws, and hostile contempt towards His Holy Presence. Although God in His Divine Mercy forgives us our sins, we still have to repair for whatever damage those sins may have caused. We need to make amends not only for our sinful conduct against God but also for the disorder we brought into the world by our sinful conduct. We do this through penance and reparation.
OFFERING & SACRIFICE - When the heart is moved with gratitude, we are prompted to respond in ways that we know are pleasing to God. It becomes easy to practice the gift of charity because He Who is Almighty has done something great for me and I feel His Love yet I am not worthy of it. Let me make a personal offering of my time or talents, or money to someone less fortunate. Let me make a sacrifice of something which I sense has value, and never thought I could live without. Let me reach out and touch someone because I have been touched and I know I will never be the same. Like Blessed Mother Teresa, let me do something beautiful for God. Physical actions united to Christ and performed for the love of God are prayer.
TESTIMONIALS - God is a living God. He is here today physically present, body and blood, soul and divinity, in the Holy Eucharist. This is the same God who walked among the people 2000 years ago and performed miracles, cured the sick, healed the blind and lame, cast out demons, forgave sins and taught people how to live their lives. He is still doing the same things today.
People committed to adoration found themselves healed spiritually or physically or their lives were visibly improved in some manner or another. All
they know is they needed something, they prayed to God for it and received it. These are the people who will stand there and tell you about the
goodness of the Lord. They are ready to proclaim what has happened to them to anyone who is willing to listen. Like the one leper out of the ten
that Our Lord cured (Luke 17:12-19), these people not only came back to give thanks to the Lord but they are ready and willing to proclaim it to
the world. By their testimonies, their faith increases not only for themselves but for those who see and hear them.
SILENCE - We pay homage to God when we practice silence in His Presence. It is probably difficult for most of us to allow silence to take over, to "just be". To pay no attention to our sense of sight, hearing and smell, to allow no internal words to surface, to not even have a thought, to just sit or kneel before the monstrance and wait, preferably with our eyes closed. It is in the glow of this silence that God speaks to our heart. There are no words to describe the communication which takes place in our inner being when we experience it, we know the value of silence. We feel a wonderful closeness to Him whom we love. We sense peace. It is not necessary to fill our time before the King of Kings with constant prayer. It is considered adoration when we care enough to come into the chapel just to be with Him. Simply being consciously in the presence of God is a form of prayer.
CONTEMPLATION - For a long time, contemplation was considered to belong to the domain of those in religious life, especially for the monks and cloistered orders. Not any more. Contemplation is for all of us who seek a closer, more personal relationship with Jesus. When you diligently seek to stay in the state of grace through the frequent reception of the sacraments of reconciliation and communion, you become more disciplined, more faithful to your conversations with God. Your prayer life will gradually deepen whenever you enter into contemplation. Always ask Jesus to help you. Start with whatever causes you to focus on God. It could be a holy image, a favorite prayer, or maybe a reading from a spiritual book. Place yourself in a state of humility. Abandon the world around you. Empty yourself of ego and all that identifies you with the world. Dismiss your cares and charges and yield your will entirely to Him. Be dependent upon Him and open your heart wide to wait for the Spirit of the Lord to come to you. God initiates the moment. When it arrives you will want it to last an eternity. You will return often to contemplation, to the joy of the closeness to God in prayer.
From here on, what you started to build stone by stone gradually takes on the shape and form of a beautiful structure. By your perseverance and
labor you have bridged the gap between Heaven and earth. Contemplation has elevated you into a meaningful relationship with God.
When we leave the adoration chapel, we are to carry the joy of our relationship with God to everyone we meet. We are expected to evangelize, to speak to everyone about God. He wants us to act as His representative on earth so that others are able to find Him through us. It is through our deeds of corporal and spiritual works of mercy that others will discover God. Then in return, we too will begin to see God in others.
Pray for those who walk away from the challenge to develop a relationship with God.
|Corporal Works of Mercy||Spiritual Works of Mercy|
|Feed the hungry||Admonish sinners|
|Give drink to the thirsty||Instruct the uninformed|
|Clothe the naked||Counsel the doubtful|
|Shelter the homeless||Comfort the sorrowful|
|Comfort the imprisoned||Be patient with those in error|
|Visit the sick||Forgive offenses|
|Bury the dead||Pray for the living and the dead|
The following is a poem from the 19th century that describes nuns in a convent
monastery that has much to say of the variety and richness
of the adorer's experience during perpetual adoration.
Photo of the Eucharistic Chapel in honor of
St. Francis Caracciolo, Patron Saint of the Adorno Fathers,
is used with permission of Fr. Frank Palimeri
(Jesus, Our Risen Savior Church, Spartanburg, SC).
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