As a deacon, as well as a mathematics teacher, with a wife and three children, I have been asked many times if I really believe “all that stuff” about Eucharistic Adoration.
Yes I do. I believe it is very important in our lives as Catholics.
I sometimes still get people challenging my belief: “It's too far-fetched to imagine we have the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, isn’t it?”
We receive some comfort and support against this challenge in Luke’s gospel, when Jesus comforts us against those who don’t believe and those who refuse to believe by saying, “Father Abraham says, ‘They will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.’” (Luke 16:31)
Don’t be discouraged by those who struggle to believe. Don't be closed to the wonders of God’s power.
Adoring the Lord
A period of silent Adoration, a Holy Hour or a Benediction service are some examples of how we can experience the power and joy of adoring the Lord.
His body blood, soul and divinity are truly present in the Eucharist, and we are invited to sit with him.
Rather than focusing simply on what happens in Adoration, it is powerful to think about how we experience Jesus.
So much of what we need in life depends on our rational mind - the ability to balance family finances or the choices we make when driving. The rational mind is very much a requirement to survive in the world today.
Go deeper. Go beyond our rational mind - perceive this powerful gift from God, this real presence in the Eucharist, in a deeper way.
It is in this contemplative mind that I find the joy of Adoration. In a busy life, being able to just sit quietly in the presence of the Lord is a particularly powerful gift. “Deep calls unto deep”(Ps 42:7).
For me, a deeper connection in Adoration is found in how I experience it. Being open to the contemplative mind allows me the peace, the joy of sitting before the Lord in this way.
Reaching deep within us, to connect to the depth of the Lord’s love is particularly sensible - quite a rational thing to do!
40 Hours' Devotion
Our parishes of St John’s and St Mary Magdalene's host's the Archdiocesan 40 hours' Devotion from Sunday 19 February to Tuesday 21 February.
We are asking parishioners to try and leave some space in those days to join us for a chance to re-invigorate our community with this great and powerful experience, which I hope we find helps us grow personally and as a community. Everyone is welcome.
- Can you offer an hour to sit quietly in front of the Lord?
- Maybe you can join us to pray the rosary for the first time in years?
It would be wonderful if we could consider not just spending time in prayer before Jesus in the Eucharist, but also really think about how we engage with it and, by doing so, help deepen our personal relationship with God. Not a small challenge but a worthy one.
Eddie White is a Deacon at the parishes of St John the Evangelist and St Mary Magdalene's in Edinburgh. The 40 Hours' Devotion takes place in those parishes from this Sunday - details here. Find out when the 40 Hours' Devotion takes place in your parish here.