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Dear Father Angelo,

Praised be Jesus Christ.

I am writing to see some points about how to pray in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In particular, how should true Christians pose themselves and their souls, on such occasions?

How can we focus on the real presence of Christ?

Which benefits can come from this worship?

Finally, are Eucharistic adorations, those done at any time of the year, similar to the Eucharistic adoration at the altar of reposition on Holy Thursday, after the Mass in Cena Domini?

Thanks, Alessandro

The answer of the Priest

Dear Alessandro,

1. Christian prayer does not consist only in turning to the Lord, but in establishing a dialogue between Him and us.

Saint Augustine writes: [tr] “Your prayer is a talk with God. When you read the Scriptures, God speaks to you; when you pray, you speak to God” (Agostino, Esposizione sui salmi, Ps 85,7).

So let Him start the conversation, listening to His word.

We are so poor that, soon, we no longer know what to tell Him except asking for something…

His words, on the other hand, are words of eternal life, that is, they bring God and His grace within us; they are spirit and life, that is, they enlighten us, present new horizons and give us the strength to pursue them.

Therefore, when you go to worship, always go with the Holy Scriptures.

2. However, non-cumbersome at all, there is a compendium of Sacred Scripture which you can bring along wherever you go.

It is the Holy Rosary.

The Rosary involves contemplating Christ in the various events (mysteries) of His life and allowing Him to speak to us, to enlighten us, to orient us.

The contemplation of the various events will not only reproduce in your mind the scene of what Jesus did; above all, you will remember His words.

And then, you will realize that the Rosary brought with you is like a succinct and pocket Gospel.

3. No particular effort is required to place yourself in the presence of the Lord in the Sacrament.

Always keep your gaze fixed on Him, a gaze illuminated by His word and by the prayer.

Then, you will feel a presence, not only outside of you but above all within you.

4. The effects of adoration are effects of purification and sanctification. Therefore, it is about “the spiritual refreshment of the mind“, as St. Thomas observes (Summa Theologiae, II-II, 83, 13).

At the same time, prepare to ever fulfill the Lord’s will and inflame your soul with affection for the Lord, to have increased grace and merit, and also increased strength and ardor in your asking.

These effects, while they descend on your soul, at the same time enrich the whole Church. A bit like when you put an ointment on a part of the body: the whole body somehow benefits from the effect.

Even more strongly, individual prayers benefit not only the praying person, but the whole Church, the whole world.

5. Whenever done in the year, this adoration is essentially like the one done on the evening of Holy Thursday.

Like that evening, when John laid his head on the Lord’s breast, so it happens on each adoration.

But, the adoration of Holy Thursday has definite contents: Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper, the following of His steps in the institution of the Eucharist, of the priesthood, in adoration in Gethsemane, in His arrest and along the trail of the Via Crucis until His redemptive death.

Do adore as much as you can: so, you bring an immense good to yourself and for the whole Church.

I wish you a good continuation of lent and I bless you.

Father Angelo