On February 24, 1980, Pope John Paul II issued the encyclical letter Dominicae Cenae44th (On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist). In that document he says of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration: “May our adoration never cease.” This is precisely what Perpetual Adoration is: adoration that never ceases.
On December 2, 1981, Pope John Paul II began Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In his opening prayer, “Stay with us, Lord,” the Pope urged all parishes to begin Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
Upon his arrival in Seoul, Korea on October 7, 1989 for the 44th International Eucharistic Congress, the Pope went to Good Shepherd Parish, which has Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. In his homily there he said: “It is most fitting that my first stop among the Korean people should be in a Church such as this, where the minds of the faithful are constantly raised up in adoration before Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.”
In his homily at the 45th International Eucharistic Congress in Seville, Spain in June 1993, the Holy Father said: “In fact, Perpetual Adoration, held in so many Churches of the city, in several of them held even during the night, has been an enriching feature and characteristic of this Congress. I hope that this form of Perpetual Adoration, with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, will continue into the future. Specifically, I hope that the fruit of this Congress results in the establishment of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world.”
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is the “devotion of devotions.” It provides an easy, attractive and practical way of rendering God Adoration, which is His due as our Creator, and of giving Him thanks for our redemption and sanctification. By Adoring Jesus once a week, we develop a Eucharistic spirituality, progressing from pious practice to true commitment, which is genuine devotion.
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is a message in itself of the importance of coming to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration builds community because The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Unity. Everyone can participate in Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration because everyone can find at least one hour a week to spend with Jesus.
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration helps people to be more personally involved with Christ. This is the way to have a truly personal relationship with Jesus.
Our Eucharistic Lord Jesus, our Companion, our Divine Physician, our Good Shepherd, is made available all the time, day and night, for anyone to come to Him to praise Him, to pour out one’s heart to Him, to ask for inspiration, to be consoled and comforted in afflictions, to express sorrow for sin, to ask favors, to ask guidance, to get encouragement, to get strength, to give thanks, to be healed of spiritual and physical infirmities.
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration makes the Eucharist become more central in the lives of the people. “Every member of the Church must be vigilant in seeing that this Sacrament of Love shall be at the center of the life of the people of God so that through all of the manifestations of worship due it, Christ shall be given back ‘love for love’ and truly become the life of our souls” (Redemptor Hominis). Where there is Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Holy Communions are frequent and fruitful.
Parishes that attract only a few people to Adoration on a limited basis attract many to Adoration on a continuous, perpetual basis. Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is the modern-day version of Jesus asking his apostles in faith to go out into the deep and cast their nets on the starboard side (Jn 21.6) More people are willing to participate in Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration than part-time adoration. The commitment to Jesus is what attracts them. Pastors who have the great faith to start Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration are always surprised at the many people who respond and who remain faithful to it.
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration wins many graces for the individual, the family, the parish, the diocese, the universal Church, and the world. “Especially from the Eucharist, grace is poured forth upon us as from a fountain” (Sacrosanctum Concilium).
While the Polish nun, Blessed Faustina Kowalska, was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, our Lord revealed Himself to her. There were pink and white rays of Divine Light emanating from His Sacred Heart, radiating through the entire chapel. Whenever someone came into the chapel for a visit, these Divine Rays would go forth from Jesus and encircle the whole world. Jesus explained that each person coming before Him in the Blessed Sacrament represents all humanity and that every man, woman and child on the face of the earth experiences a new effect of His goodness, grace, love and mercy for each Holy Hour made in His Divine Presence.
The best, the most effective, the surest way of bringing about lasting peace on earth is through the great power of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, because only Jesus has the power and the love to redirect the course of history back to the path of peace, which He promised. Adoration brings peace to all hearts. And peaceful hearts make a peaceful world. Pope John Paul II wrote in Dominicae Cenae: “The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic adoration.”
St. Peter Julian Eymard said: “Let us never forget that an age prospers or dwindles in proportion to its devotion to the Holy Eucharist. This is the measure of its spiritual life and its faith, of its charity and its virtue.”
Pope John Paul II says in Dominicae Cenae: “The encouragement and the deepening of Eucharistic worship are proofs of the authentic renewal which the Council set itself as an aim and of which they are the central point.”
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration promotes a goal of the Second Vatican Council--the involvement of the laity. They are responsible, under the direction of their pastor, to organize and sustain Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. It is both an apostolate and a means of personal spiritual growth for the laity.
At Mass the sacrificial and communal aspects of the Eucharist are emphasized. In Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration the Real Presence is emphasized. Pope John Paul II says that our communal worship at Mass must go together with our personal worship of Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration in order that our love may be complete.
We should go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to make reparation for our sins and the sins of the world and to make some atonement for the many sacrileges, indifferences and ingratitude which He receives in His Sacrament of Love. “Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in Adoration and contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world” (Dominicae Cenae).
Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament
P.O. Box 1701
Plattsburgh, NY 12901, USA