According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life...for in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself...(CCC 1324). The same Jesus who was born of the Virgin Mary, walked this earth twenty centuries ago, was crucified, rose again from the dead, and who sits in glory at the right hand of the Father is present in the Eucharist! He who told us that He would not leave us orphans and who would remain with us always remains with us in a mysterious though real way in the Eucharist (cf. John 14:18 & Matt 28:20). In Heaven we will be with Jesus and we will see Him as He is in glory. Here on earth we have the privilege of enjoying by our faith in His Real Presence in the Eucharist, the company of the same Jesus who longs to spend all Eternity with us in the company of the Holy Trinity. In fact, it could be said that the Eucharist is an encounter with the Trinity as Jesus told us that whoever has seen Him as seen the Father, and in their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are inseparable (cf. John 14:9 and CCC 689).
The Catholic Church has always maintained that “the Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsists (CCC 1377). Thus, Christians have always treated the Eucharist with profound reference. The practice of Eucharist Adoration reflects an ever deepening awareness on the part of the Church of the mysterious presence of its Lord in our midst even now, though veiled sacramentally. The practice of perpetual adoration of the Eucharist in a chapel dedicated for this purpose may have started as early in the 9th century in Lugo, Spain. A celebrated early example of the practice of perpetual Adoration was when King Louis XII requested permission from the Bishop of Avignon, France to have a chapel dedicated to perpetual Adoration to celebrate a major military victory over the Albigensian heretics whose teachings threatened civilization in the 13th century.
Recent popes have strongly encouraged the Christian faithful to take part in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass, since “in his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, and he remains under signs that express and communicate that love. (CCC 1380). Blessed Paul VI (soon to be saint) exhorted The faithful that they “should not omit to visit the Blessed Sacrament...such visits are a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, an acknowledgment of the Lord’s presence (Mysterium Fidei 49). St. John Paul II stated “the Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease (Dominicae cenae 3). Furthermore, John Paul II reminds us that “it is pleasant spend time with him, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved disciple and to feel the infinite love present in his heart (Ecclesia de Eucharistia 25). Pope Benedict XVI “heartily recommends the practice of Eucharistic adoration, both individually and in community” (Sacramentum Caritatis 67). Pope Francis has noted how good it is to stand before Jesus with an open heart, to experience his gaze on our knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and simply to be in Jesus’ presence (cf. Evangelii Gaudium 264).
Finally, countless saints have recognized the benefits of Eucharistic Adoration. In a letter that appears in the books Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament and Loving Jesus with the Heart of Mary by Fr. Martin Lucia, St. Teresa of Calcutta wrote “when you look at the crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you NOW.” Fr. Jerzy Domański quotes St. Maximilian Kolbe as saying to Jesus present in the Eucharist: “your heart was not satisfied that I should be nourished only with a memory of your infinite love. You remained in this vale of tears in the most holy and singularly miraculous Sacrament of the Altar!”
Let us take advantage of this gift of inestimable value; let us strive to visit our Eucharistic Jesus as frequently as possible!