Part 16: Prayer for discernment: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a helpful prayer when you are trying to learn if God is calling you to be a single person or married, a religious or a priest.
Annual surveys of newly ordained priests consistently report that before entering the seminary 70% of them regularly participated in Eucharistic Adoration.
I think that one connection between Adoration and saying “yes” to God’s call is found in the fact of the act of looking.
Think of the story of Jesus looking with love at the people who look to him in their need. At Adoration, it’s as if Jesus looks with the same love at us, for how lost we are, how wounded, hungry, looking for love in all the wrong places.
For our part, at Adoration we look at Jesus, as if in an unspoken prayer of longing, or for help, or to study him so as to know him.
Of course, we don’t actually see Jesus’ face when we look at the Blessed Sacrament, but we do see a picture of him, in a manner of speaking:
- A picture of his humbling himself, shedding the glory of divinity, coming to us because we cannot on our own go to God;
- A picture of further humbling of himself, Jesus’ body given up for us, and his blood poured out for the forgiveness of sins – as he lived his life, so it ended;
- A picture of humbling himself yet again, offering himself as food and drink, to give us life and gladness of heart, and a pledge of eternal life with God;
- And a picture of even further humbling of self, Jesus continuing to dwell among us, in the Blessed Sacrament, waiting for us to worship and adore.
The Host reserved in the tabernacle for adoration should be periodically replaced and consumed. That is because of our belief that the ultimate end of the Blessed Sacrament, for which Jesus instituted the Eucharist, is to be consumed.
That is also I think the ultimate end of Jesus’ followers: to be consumed by Christ, or as St. Paul put it, to be “grasped by Christ Jesus,” to be “taken captive by God to do his will.”
We are brought to this holy desire by spending time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and thereby growing in the desire to worship at Mass and to receive Holy Communion, and to serve, and to say “yes” to God’s plan.
We can’t draw near to the fire of divine love and not be grasped, taken captive, consumed. St. Catherine of Siena warned of this in her book entitled Dialogue: “What heart can defend itself and not burst to see greatness humbling itself to the lowliness of our humanity?”
Can you see yourself in the Blessed Sacrament, mirroring the gift of self that was lived by Jesus