“What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, God and the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation.”
~ St Francis
We have been given a great gift, the ability to visit our ever-present Lord anytime we want. We should yearn to be with him all the time and everywhere.
Vatican Radio and the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, have announced a historical event: “The cathedrals of the world will be synchronized with Rome and will, for an hour, be in communion with the Pope in Eucharistic adoration.” An ambitious act of adoration on an unprecedented scale.
The happy event will begin at 5 p.m. Rome time on June 2. For American parishes, priest or laity wishing to participate with the bishops of the world, should begin adoration 11 a.m. Eastern time, and 12 noon Central time. (To calculate the time difference from Rome to your time zone click here.)
If knowledge of this great gift and the possibility of being part of such an awe-inspiring act of worship isn’t enough motivation for you, consider this: the act of adoration is indulged. See there is something in it for you!
That’s right! The Enchiridion of Indulgences tells us a plenary indulgence is granted to those who visit Christ present in The Blessed Sacrament (anytime, not just for this event) for at least one half hour and fulfill the three constants/prerequisites: confession, communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Pope.
Pope Francis has stated his intentions for this holy event:
“For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity. May the Lord make her ever more obedient to hearing his Word in order to stand before the world ‘ever more beautiful, without stain or blemish, but holy and blameless.’ That through her faithful announcement, the Word that saves may still resonate as the bearer of mercy and may increase love to give full meaning to pain and suffering, giving back joy and serenity.” and, “For those around the world who still suffer slavery and who are victims of war, human trafficking, drug running, and slave labour. For the children and women who are suffering from every type of violence. May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence. Also, for all those who find themselves in economically precarious situations, above all for the unemployed, the elderly, migrants, the homeless, prisoners, and those who experience marginalization. That the Church’s prayer and its active nearness give them comfort and assistance in hope and strength and courage in defending human dignity.”
Under normal circumstances you do not have to have full knowledge of the Pope’s intentions; a simple “For the intentions of the Pope,” followed by a Hail Mary and and Our Father will suffice.
Because God is so incredibly loving and looks for every opportunity to extend us grace and mercy, a partial indulgence is granted to those who, for whatever reason, can’t or don’t visit and adore the Most Blessed Sacrament for a full half hour or who do not complete the three constants. Come visit Him for any amount of time, even just popping your head in to say “Hi, Jesus,” and He’ll indulge you. He’s just that generous!
The concept of indulgence has often been misunderstood, even by devout Catholics. Indulgence is not the buying or earning of salvation in any way, shape or form. Salvation was won once and for always on the cross by Christ.
An indulgence is an invitation to participate ever more deeply in the mercy of Christ. The word indulgence has a Latin root which means to be kind or tender. Indulgences remit temporal suffering or punishment still demanded by justice for sins which have already been forgiven. For our own good (not His) we must offer something to God. Yes, Christ paid the price for our sins, but He invites us to share in His cross. Indulgences are kinder, more gentle ways for us to do that.
One half-hour of adoration of The Most Blessed Sacrament combined with the three constants is gifted with a plenary indulgence, and when you can’t visit Him for a full half hour, a partial indulgence may still be granted even without the three constants. That’s how much Christ wants you to come visit Him in the Eucharist.
“Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us”.
– St. Alphonsus Liguori
We are truly blessed to live in a time and place where we can synchronise our adoration with that of the Popes. What an incredible sense of communion! In addition to being a beautifully large offering to Christ, this historical communal adoration will serve as a reminder to all the faithful; we need adoration not just on June 2nd, but always and everywhere.
We are also blessed that modern technology has made adoration even more widely available. It is now possible to find open Chapels, even in strange lands, or to visit Him even when we can not bring ourselves physically to His presence. Here are some awesome online tools to help you with adoration:
1. Find a Eucharistic Adoration chapel by entering your city, state or zip code on the Eucharistic Adoration Directory website and also available for free download on iOS devices. It has a clean simple look and is very easy to use. This priceless service is totally user supported, meaning it depends on you to share information. If your parish has adoration available and does not show up on the search, it can be added to the Eucharistic adoration directory here . This service will soon be available in Canada and Australia as well.
2. CatholicAdoration.com is another site with a “find an adoration chapel” map and, most importantly, urges parishes to start their own perpetual adoration, even providing coordination resources. CatholicAdoration.com offers a 46 page e-book for parishes called “Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration,” which includes sections called a Pastor’s packet, a coordinator’s packet, and an adorer’s packet. Each contain such practical information as how to organize a signup sheet, what reading material to have available in the chapel, sample bulletin inserts, and a list of guests priests who are available to come speak to the parish about the importance of adoration.
3. Can’t make it to an adoration chapel? Are you homebound, sick in a hospital, stuck at work, or maybe your car won’t start? For whatever reason you can’t make it to a nearby chapel, you can still spend time gazing at The Precious Body of our Lord. You can still sit with Him and bring all your cares to Him.
At the shrine of Maximilian Kolbe in MaryTown you can virtually enter an actual chapel, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. Because it is a true chapel, when you drop by to visit The Sacrament you may find others there saying the Mass or praying the rosary. The website itself is a bit cluttered and some who tested it with me found the ads a bit distracting at times, but the video can be enlarged full screen to block that out.
4. There are those who may find the very simple live view of Christ in a monstrance surrounded by flowers offered by Savior.org a slower paced alternative. You can even send a $10 donation to Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters to place your own flowers at Christ’s feet.
5. Spanish Language adoration accompanied by music is available here.
6. Speaking of music, you can download a large selection of adoration meditations, Taize, and adoration music here. You can even download your favorite adoration hymn as a ringtone, so every time your phone rings you are reminded to adore Christ above all else.
7. Perhaps you still aren’t sure why you should go to Eucharistic Adoration. Maybe you aren’t even sure what we really mean when we say “Eucharistic Adoration.” Here is a great video explaining Eucharistic adoration. There are many other such videos exploring what adoration is, or offering music and meditations to prepare for adoration. And then …there’s this…one of my favorites!
“Neither theological knowledge nor social action alone is enough to keep us in love with Christ unless both are preceded by a personal encounter with Him. Theological insights are gained not only from between two covers of a book, but from two bent knees before an altar. The Holy Hour becomes like an oxygen tank to revive the breath of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the foul and fetid atmosphere of the world,”
~Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Technology can so often be distracting and can easily lead us away from Him whom we should love most. Isn’t the opportunity to use technology instead to bring us closer to Jesus wonderful? One half-hour sitting in genuine prayer with Him and all the temporal punishment for your forgiven sins vanishes forever.
He is so generous with His mercy–let us be grateful and take advantage of the easy indulgence He offers us by participating in adoration with Pope Francis on June 2nd at a Cathedral, at your local parish–or online–and then keep adoring Him. Adore Him. Adore Him everywhere, all the time!
“The Church and the world have a great need of Eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world. May our adoration never cease.”
~ Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae, Feb. 1980
Copyright 2013 Jen Haganey
Image credit: by Melchior2008 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons