Dear Friends of Magnificat, The book you now hold in your hands is a treasury of teachings, prayers, meditations, andwitnesses from the saints to help guide you in one of the most beautiful and elevated devotions of the Catholic faith: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In the Blessed Sacrament, the Most Holy Eucharist, we adore Christ himself. We are not faced with a mere symbol, but the true and substantial presence of our Savior—seen only with the eyes of faith, yes, but faith “is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie” (CCC 157). If ever you fear, even for the slightest moment, that God does not remain with you, that somehow you are all alone in this world, you have only to look towards the tabernacle, and the small flame that signals what lies within it, to be assured of the presence of God. As you read and pray with this companion, may you grow in the certainty of Christ’s love for you—for he is our ultimate Companion, our truest Friend, our one and only Savior. May you be confirmed in your joys, encouraged in your sorrows, and strengthened in the midst of temptations. May you one day join all those who see God face to face, who live and feast forever in the banquet of the King. In the Eucharistic Heart of our Lord, Fr. Sebastian White, o.p.
Table of Contents What Is Adoration? 3 History and Forms of Eucharistic Adoration 6 Words of Counsel as You Begin to Adore 13 Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction 15 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a Couple 19 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in a Time of Need 27 Recent Magisterial Statements 37 Meditations 47 Prayers and Devotions 97 Litanies 107 Eucharistic Hymns 123 Additional Scripture Readings 133 Gospel Passages 134 New Testament Scripture Passages 151 Old Testament Scripture Passages 157 Psalms 162 Saints Who Loved the Eucharist 167 Acknowledgments and Indexes 184
3 What Is Adoration? The Benedictine Sisters of Sacré Cœur de Montmartre Adoration is due to God alone. To adore the thriceholy and supremely lovable God in the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar means that we offer ourselves to the ineffable love of God who has begun to manifest himself in creation, who has been revealed to us since Abraham, who has laid in Jesus Christ the foundation of the Church through which he acts in the world. To pray before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar is to cast a glance of faith upon Jesus Christ, true God and true man, truly present in the Bread of the Eucharist. This prayer of adoration manifests God’s mercy and tenderness for humanity and calls each one of us to intercede for the needs of men. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. Jesus, the source of salvation, is offered for our contemplation and adoration incessantly. From him, all who pray to him receive an abundance of grace to live in this world as beloved children; and through him, in the Spirit, each of us returns to the Father, the God of tenderness and mercy, to bless and glorify him. Moreover, regardless of our poverty or wealth, through prayer, we can draw from the unfathomable riches of the Heart of Christ, given to us in the Eucharist, for the good of all people. Let us ask the Lord to make us worshipers in spirit and truth, witnesses of the love of God before the men and women of our time.
4 Adoration Companion The Treasury of God’s Mercy There is one action whose effect is boundless: it is our confident and insistent prayer. Even the poorest of believers, when he does not have much to give, still has an unknown wealth: to draw through prayer from the infinite treasury of God’s mercy. In the Gospel, the Lord calls us to perseverance in prayer. Pray without ceasing. Watch and pray. While our world lacks hope, a powerful remedy is offered to us. In a society that suffers from loneliness and individualism, Eucharistic adoration helps us discover the Real Presence of Christ at our side: I am with you always, until the end of the age. His love for us does not change. From him alone comes the stability of our life. The prayer of adoration allows us to welcome this love, to take this time of reflection in silence, to root ourselves in Christ and to allow our inner freedom to grow. Furthermore, Eucharistic adoration has the power to transform our everyday relationships by giving them the true meaning of human love. Let us rediscover our sense of the beauty of the sacred. Let us habituate our gaze to receive in adoration the pure light of the Lord. Patiently, let us allow him to fashion, in the Holy Spirit, our true face, in his image and likeness, until the day of our eternal face-to-face: Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. And in the Communion of Saints, let us find all those whom we have loved and who have preceded us before him. In the prayer of adoration, it is not a question, like the hypocritical Pharisee of the Gospel, of giving thanks for
What Is Adoration 5 our own righteousness, and of praying only for others who are sinners (cf. Lk 18:9-14). But before the infinite love of God, given for us in Jesus, exposed before our eyes in the Blessed Sacrament, it is a question of recognizing ourselves as poor and sinful, to see that without him we can do nothing (cf. Jn 15:5), to let ourselves be saved by him, to let ourselves be healed, to let ourselves be converted. It is a question of offering ourselves to God the Father in the one and perfect offering of Jesus his Son, under the movement of the Holy Spirit, in order to fully accomplish his will. In this way, our prayer will be true: it will transform us, and in the Communion of Saints, it will shine forth as the grace of salvation for many men and women of our time who do not know God, who have distanced themselves from him, or who refuse his love. • • • The Basilica of Sacré Coeur de Montmartre has been the site of continuous perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Paris since 1885. • • •
37 Devotion to the Holy Eucharist: Recent Magisterial Statements
38 Adoration Companion The Eucharist and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass We believe that the Mass…is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that…the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real and substantial presence. Christ cannot be thus present in this sacrament except by the change into his Body of the reality itself of the bread and the change into his Blood of the reality itself of the wine, leaving unchanged only the properties of the bread and wine that our senses perceive. This mysterious change is very appropriately called by the Church transubstantiation. Every theological explanation which seeks some understanding of this mystery must…maintain that in the reality itself, independently of our mind, the bread and wine have ceased to exist after the consecration, so that it is the adorable Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus that from then on are really before us under the sacramental species of bread and wine…. The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord glorious in heaven is not multiplied, but is rendered present by the sacrament in the many places on earth where Mass is celebrated. And this existence remains present, after the sacrifice, in the Blessed Sacrament that is, in the tabernacle, the living heart of each of our churches. And it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore in the blessed host that our eyes see, the Incarnate Word whom they cannot see, and who, without leaving heaven, is made present before us. From Sollemnis Professio Fidei, an apostolic letter on the Credo of the People of God, proclaimed by Saint Paul VI on June 30, 1968.
48 Adoration Companion “He is here, in our midst…” Lord Jesus, you are here! And you, my brothers, my sisters, my friends. You are here, withme, in his presence! Lord, two thousand years ago, you willingly mounted the infamous Cross in order then to rise again and to remain forever with us, your brothers and sisters. And you, my brothers, my sisters, my friends. You willingly allow him to embrace you. We contemplate him. We adore him. We love him. We seek to grow in love for him. We contemplate him who, in the course of his Passover meal, gave his Body and Blood to his disciples, so as to be with them always, to the close of the age (Mt 28:20). We adore him who is the origin and goal of our faith, him without whom we would not be here, without whom we would not be at all, without whom there would be nothing, absolutely nothing! Him through whom all things were made (Jn 1:3), him in whom we were created, for all eternity, him who gave us his own Body and Blood—he is here, in our midst, for us to gaze upon. We love, and we seek to grow in love for him who is here, in our presence, for us to gaze upon, for us perhaps to question, for us to love. Whether we are walking or nailed to a bed of suffering; whether we are walking in joy or languishing in the wilderness of the soul: Lord, take us all into your Love; the infinite Love which is eternally the Love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father, the Love of the Father and the Son for the Spirit, and the Love of the Spirit for the Father and the Son.
97 Prayers and Devotions
98 Adoration Companion Anima Christi Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, embolden me. Water from the side of Christ, wash me. Passion of Christ, strengthen me. O good Jesus, hear me. Within your wounds hide me. Never permit me to be parted from you. From the evil Enemy defend me. At the hour of my death call me and bid me come to you, that with your Saints I may praise you for age upon age. Amen. • • • Suscipe Receive, Lord, my entire freedom. Accept the whole of my memory, my intellect and my will. Whatever I have or possess, it was you who gave it to me; I restore it to you in full, and I surrender it completely to the guidance of your will. Give me only love of you together with your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more. Amen.
108 Adoration Companion Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, one with the eternal Word, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, infinite in majesty, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
123 Eucharistic Hymns
124 Adoration Companion Adoremus in Aeternum Ant. Let us adore forever the Most Holy Sacrament. Praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. Because his mercy is confirmed upon us: and the truth of the Lord remaineth forever. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Ant. Let us adore forever the Most Holy Sacrament. • • • Adoro Te Devote (translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins, s.j.) Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore, Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more, See Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art. Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived: How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
133 Additional Scripture Readings
134 Adoration Companion Gospel Passages Matthew 11:25-30 I am gentle and humble of heart. At that time Jesus said in reply, “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” Luke 15:1-10 Heaven is filled with joy when one sinner turns back to God. The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and,
167 Saints Who Loved the Eucharist by Lisa Lickona
168 Adoration Companion Saints Who Loved the Eucharist Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these (Mt 19:14). These words of Christ seem to be a call from the tabernacle—for so many of the saints who exhibited an intense love for our Eucharistic Lord were drawn to him as children. Little Peter Julian Eymard stole into the church to rest his head on the altar. Geltrude Comensoli hid herself in her mother’s shawl and sneaked early to the Communion rail. The altar boy Tarcisius suffered death rather than relinquish the Holy Body. And, to these “official” saints, we might add the unnamed Chinese girl who went to a desecrated church each night for a month to consume the hosts that were spilled there. On the last night she was caught and killed by the Boxer rebels. This child inspired the Eucharistic devotion of Venerable Fulton Sheen, who declared, “The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host.” Every spring, in parishes all over the country, sevenyear-olds receive our Lord for the first time—the boys uncharacteristically serious, the girls arrayed in white. Let us preserve that same joy and expectation all our lives, letting our hearts be drawn to him whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. Lord of all, draw me to the altar where I receive the food for my journey, the blessed and broken Body of your Son.
190 Adoration Companion Prayers and excerpts from the English translation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, copyright © 2011, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). Taken from A Book of Prayers, ICEL (1982): Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Litany of the Most Precious Blood. © 1982, ICEL. All rights reserved. Taken from Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition: Lauda, Sion. © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, D.C. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without written permission from the copyright owner. Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner. “Litany of Trust” and “Magnificat with Mary Litany” used by permission of the Sisters of Life. https://sistersoflife.org. Illustrations in the booklet : All rights reserved. Ad or at i on c ompa n i on Publisher: Pierre-Marie Dumont Associate Publisher: Romain Lizé Editor-in-Chief: Rev. Sebastian White, o.p. Assistant to the Editor: Samuel Wigutow Layout & Coordinator: Solange Bosdevesy Permissions Coordinator: Diaga Seck-Rauch Iconography: Isabelle Mascaras Cover: Solange Bosdevesy Translator: Janet Chevrier Printed by: Beck, Germany. Edition Number: MGN22029.