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Adoremus, Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

ADOREMUS Celebrates

The Year of the Eucharist

October 2004-2005

Pope John Paul II - to Miloslav Cardinal Vlk, Archbishop of Prague, and members of Focolare - February 19, 2005

"With ever-living ardor, contemplate Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist.
Following His example, be ready in all circumstances to make yourselves
instruments of mercy and communion. The secret of pastoral success is the
crucified and risen Lord, Whom we adore in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
As you well know, in order to be eloquent signs of His love and instigators
of His peace in all environments, everyone is first of all asked to
cultivate an intimate and constant familiarity with Him. From intense
participation in the Eucharist springs the spiritual energy needed to bring
all projects of goodness to fruition."

Excerpt from: CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, DIRECTORY ON POPULAR PIETY AND THE LITURGY, December 2001

Eucharistic Adoration

164. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a form of Eucharistic cult which is particularly widespread in the Church and earnestly recommended to her Pastors and faithful. Its initial form derives from Holy Thursday and the altar of repose, following the celebration of the Coena Domini Mass. This adoration is a most apt way of expressing the connection between the celebration of the memorial of the Lord's Sacrifice and his continued presence in the Sacrament of the Altar. The reservation of the Sacred Species, so as to be able to administer Viaticum to the sick at any time, encouraged the practice among the faithful of recollection before the tabernacle and to worship Christ present in the Sacrament(175).

Indeed, this worship of adoration has a sound and firm foundation," [109] especially since faith in the Lord's real presence has as its natural consequence the outward and public manifestation of that belief. Therefore, the devotion prompting the faithful to visit the blessed sacrament draws them into an ever deeper share in the paschal mystery and leads them to respond gratefully to the gift of him who through his humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of his Body. [110] Abiding with Christ the Lord, they enjoy his intimate friendship and pour out their hearts before him for themselves and for those dear to them and they pray for the peace and salvation of the world. Offering their entire lives with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, they derive from this sublime colloquy an increase of faith, hope, and charity. Thus they foster those right dispositions that enable them with due devotion to celebrate the memorial of the Lord and receive frequently the bread given us by the Father.(176)

165. In adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which can take different forms, several elements deriving from the Liturgy and from popular piety come together and it is not always easy to determine their limits(177):

* a simple visit to the Blessed Sacrament: a brief encounter with Christ inspired by faith in the real presence and characterized by silent prayer;

* adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed for a period of time in a monstrance or pyx in accordance with liturgical norm(178);

* perpetual adoration or the Quarantore, involving an entire religious community, or Eucharistic association, or parish, which is usually an occasion for various expressions of Eucharistic piety(179).

The faithful should be encouraged to read the Scriptures during these periods of adoration, since they afford an unrivalled source of prayer. Suitable hymns and canticles based on those of the Liturgy of the Hours and the liturgical seasons could also be encouraged, as well as periods of silent prayer and reflection. Gradually, the faithful should be encouraged not to do other devotional exercises during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament(180). Given the close relationship between Christ and Our Lady, the rosary can always be of assistance in giving prayer a Christological orientation, since it contains meditation of the Incarnation and the Redemption(181).

ENCYCLICAL LETTER, ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA, John Paul II, April, 17, 2003

25. ... It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species.

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