Adoration is awe of the divine and how we relate to God. It is to admit that God is God and we are not. Father Cantalamessa, preacher to the popes since 1980, states that adoration is “the perception of the grandeur, majesty, and beauty of God, together with his goodness and presence, which takes one’s breath away.” Adoration of the divine can happen anywhere but, specifically for Catholics, adoration is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. The host as the body of Christ does not need to be visible.
Exposition is the visual act of exposure to the consecrated host, usually displayed in a monstrance (a word originating from the Latin meaning “to show”). It is also referred to as Benediction. As we physically gaze upon the Blessed Sacrament, we also find ourselves exposed as Christ gazes back on us.
Whether you are before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, in a church with a tabernacle, or anywhere in your daily life, here are eight ways to practice adoration:
- As Pope Francis says, “Let Christ gaze on you.” He continues by asking, “Adoring the Christ truly present in the Eucharist: Do I let myself be transformed by Him? Do I let the Lord who gives Himself to me, guide me to come out more and more from my little fence, to get out and be not afraid to give, to share, to love Him and others?” When Christ gazes on us, we are seen as we really are and become more self-giving.
- You are truly not alone during adoration, so imagine Jesus or our dear mother Mary sitting and praying with you. You are in the presence.
- In the real presence, God is uniquely present to you. Share with God everything in your heart. Journal if it helps.
- And then listen. Let your heart be still. Don’t worry if nothing comes or if your mind jumps from thought to thought like a mischievous monkey. Just be present to Christ. Just listen.
- As you are being gazed upon, return the gift and gaze upon Christ. Using the word “exposition,” we realize our hearts are exposed. We are vulnerable and available to Christ.
- When we pray, God is already there first. When we share our joys and sorrows and pray for friends and loved ones, we are not praying to let God know our concerns. God already knows! As the catechism says, we are praying so that God can change our hearts.
- The rosary is an excellent way to pray anytime and anywhere. Together with Mary, we meditate deeply on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, putting Jesus at the center of our thoughts.
- We can read the Bible. Jesus truly is the word of God, and by opening up the written word, we become closer to Him. It also can be helpful to read the Scripture of the day or of the upcoming Sunday Mass.
Courtesy of THE FSPA