As Catholics, we receive the Eucharist during Mass. However, there is another opportunity for us to experience the Blessed Sacrament through Eucharistic adoration. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the importance of incorporating adoration into our prayers to God:
“Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the ‘King of Glory,’ respectful silence in the presence of the ‘ever greater’ God. Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance to our supplications” (CCC 2628).
But, what does this mean in real life? Specifically, how can Eucharistic adoration help us fight temptations and grow in holiness?
I want to share with you the benefits of Eucharistic adoration for recovery and offer some advice on how to fully experience freedom from evil in this first article of this two-part series.
During the exposition of the Eucharistic Host, the Host is displayed in a monstrance on the altar so that all can see and pray in Christ’s presence. There is a beautiful story of Saint John Vianney who was amazed that one of his parishioners would spend such long hours in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He asked the man, “What do you do in adoration?” The man simply responded, “I look at Him and He looks at me.”
I share the sentiment. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament offers us a time when we Catholics (or anyone with a prayerful heart) can worship the true God in the person of Jesus Christ who is really, truly present in the Host.
Early in my reboot and recovery from pornography, I watched a YouTube video of Blessed Fulton Sheen. He challenged his audience—every single one of us—to spend an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This occurred during Lent and I remember suddenly being reminded of Jesus’s heartfelt request to His closest disciples during His lonely agony in the garden: “Could you not spend one hour with me?”
So, I did it. That week I took a walk to a nearby church and sat in the church. It was difficult. I went expecting something to happen. And while something did happen, it was not as visible or profound as I had hoped. The next week, I wanted to go but did not. “Life” got in the way. A short while later, I was reading the writings of Blessed Fulton Sheen and it became a gut punch. I include his admonition here for true shock effect!
“The holy hour in our modern rat race is necessary for authentic prayer. Our world is one of speed in which intensity of movement is a substitute for lack of purpose; where noise is invoked to drown out the whisperings of conscience; where talk, talk, talk gives the impression that we are doing something when really we are not; where activity kills self-knowledge won by contemplation…There seems to be so little in common between our involvement with the news of the world and the Stranger in whose Presence we find ourselves. The hour means giving up a golf game or a cocktail party, or a nap…Sometimes it is hard, especially during vacation when we have nothing to do…”
I was guilty of allowing the secular world to dictate excuses and was missing out on our Lord’s mercy. That week, I returned to Eucharistic adoration, and for over a year I was able to maintain a strict schedule of adoration for an hour every week.
The benefits have been invaluable.
I have had true peace in my heart and mind, which is a profound weapon against sexual and other temptations. It was for me the most rewarding and radical practice in my life. My heart had been pierced with Love and I wanted more of it. Those weekly holy hours allowed for spiritual growth, spiritual therapy, and the start of a better personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Now, I challenge you: What is preventing you from spending an hour with our Lord? If your parish is not open, the Lord provides live streaming of perpetual adoration from websites around the world. If your parish is open, look online for times and go.
Many parishes offer perpetual adoration but if yours does not there are usually specific times set aside for adoration during the week. There is no need to sign-up or ask permission to attend—you can just show up and be with Lord. You may also have the opportunity on retreats and at other special events.
Take the time to be with Him. This is your personal time with Christ. Moreover, you don’t have to “do” anything during adoration and you can simply be present and receive the love of the Lord. If you are the only person present, do not be afraid to pray or sing aloud, either. I have done both!
With that said, in case you’re wondering how you might spend an hour with the Lord in Eucharistic adoration, here are some ideas.
Simply be in the presence of Jesus. Contemplate the mind-blowing truth of Jesus truly being present to us whenever we are before the Blessed Sacrament!
Call forth your sins and sufferings and ask Jesus for His mercy. Great healing is available to those who come to adoration.
Practice being thankful for everything in your life. Think of specific people and things in your life you are thankful for and mention each one to Jesus.
Read Scripture, pray the rosary, and ask for the Blessed Mother to help you listen to what Jesus wants to speak into your heart.
Let’s consider what Saint Teresa of Calcutta thought about the incredible gift of adoration:
“The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth.”
Finally, I’m blessed to live in the city of Mercy: Vilnius, Lithuania Therefore, it’s only appropriate to share what Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska wrote about adoring the Lord’s mercy.
“O Christ, let my greatest delight be to see You loved and Your praise and glory proclaimed, especially the honor of Your mercy. O Christ, let me glorify Your goodness and mercy to the last moment of my life, with every drop of my blood and every beat of my heart. Would that I be transformed into a hymn of adoration of You. When I find myself on my deathbed, may the last beat of my heart be a loving hymn glorifying Your unfathomable mercy. Amen.”
Go now and be with Christ in Eucharistic adoration! He is waiting for you.
Aaron Walter is a lifelong Catholic and former porn addict whose ministry, NewMenRising, is dedicated to pornography addiction recovery. He is a coach, mentor, and accountability partner and is passionate about helping husbands kick their addiction and transform their lives and relationships. You can connect with him at calendly.com/aaronwaltercoachingsessions.