My fraying life outside the Church snapped back into focus during a chance encounter with Eucharistic Adoration. I’d been driving down a street with the windows open and heard the noontime bells ring as I passed a church. Obeying an impulse I decided to stop in and maybe light a candle.
When I entered the church I saw the altar, alive with candles, and the gleaming monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament. “Oh, they do Adoration here,” I thought, with something like joy bubbling up inside me. I fell to my knees before the Presence and simply, quietly adored for what I thought was five minutes. When I rose and looked at the clock, an hour had passed, and I was a Catholic once more, looking forward to making my confession and participating in the life of the Church.
Jesus may not have needed my adoration, but I sure needed the consolation and instruction inherent in his Presence, and his Light, that day and almost every week since then. Well, maybe [he did not need it], but he asked for it—“Could you not keep watch with me one hour?” (Matt 26:40)—which suggests that on some level he wants our quiet companionship.
In 2016, Pope Francis—who also makes a point of publicly going to confession in order to encourage the faithful in this practice—identified Eucharistic Adoration as one of three ways to better know Christ:
“One cannot know the Lord without the habit of adoring, of adoring in silence. I believe—if I am not mistaken—that this prayer of adoration is the least known among us; it is the one we engage in the least. To waste time—if I may say it—before the Lord, before the mystery of Jesus Christ. To adore, there in the silence, in the silence of adoration. He is the Lord and I adore Him.”
Elizabeth Scalia, Jesus may not need our adoration, but He asked for it
Excerpted from Word on Fire, October 10, 2019