Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

The following is an excerpt from the Marian Press book 52 Weeks with St. Faustina by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle:

“Know this, My daughter, that you are already tasting now what other souls will obtain only in eternity.”
Diary, 969

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament should be commonplace in the life of every baptized Catholic. In this week’s spiritual exercise, we will discuss the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist, as well as dear St. Faustina’s great love for the Blessed Sacrament, which gave rise to her wisdom and insights into the source and summit of the Christian life. Let’s jump in!

The Church instructs us about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, saying:

In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession [Paul VI, MF 56] (CCC, 1378).

Also, the Church teaches about Adoration of Jesus:

The tabernacle was first intended for the reservation of the Eucharist in a worthy place so that it could be brought to the sick and those absent outside of Mass. As faith in the real presence of Christ in his Eucharist deepened, the Church became conscious of the meaning of silent adoration of the Lord present under the Eucharistic species. It is for this reason that the tabernacle should be located in an especially worthy place in the church and should be constructed in such a way that it emphasizes and manifests the truth of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament (CCC, 1379).

We should deeply desire many opportunities to spend time with our Lord. He is waiting there in the tabernacle for our visits. A whole hour is not necessary for our time with Jesus to be meaningful. I tell folks to visit the chapel or church even for a short time, perhaps squeezed between errands, or on the way to or from work. Hopefully, you’ll also schedule longer times of Adoration, too. Kneeling before Him and pouring out our hearts melts away our concerns and fears. Nourished by His love, we leave with grace, renewed hope, and peace.

Saint Faustina, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and the Chaplet
Sister Faustina was so in love with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament that she visited the chapel at every chance, while obeying the rules of her vocation. It’s not a coincidence that her full religious name was Sister Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Once she said, “All my strength is in You, O Living Bread. It would be difficult for me to live through the day if I did not receive Holy Communion. It is my shield; without You, Jesus, I know not how to live” (Diary, 814). She described Jesus’ great gift, saying, “You wanted to stay with us, and so You left us Yourself in the Sacrament of the Altar, and You opened wide Your mercy to us” (Diary, 1747). God’s mercy and the Blessed Sacrament are intimately intertwined. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is very Eucharistic because it offers the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father, in atonement for the sins of the world.

One time, the young mystic prayed, “O Jesus concealed in the Host, my sweet master and faithful Friend, how happy my soul is to have such a Friend who always keeps me company.” She elaborated, “I do not feel lonely even though I am in isolation. Jesus-Host, we know each other — that is enough for me” (Diary, 877).

The sisters had a special custom: At the beginning of each New Year, each sister would draw out by lot a choice of patron for the year. Sister Faustina was overwhelmingly ecstatic year after year because, by God’s grace, she drew “the Most Blessed Eucharist.” She recalled, “Jesus likes to intervene in the smallest details of our life, and He often fulfills secret wishes of mine that I sometimes hide from Him, although I know that from Him nothing can be hidden” (Diary, 360).

Sister Faustina’s love for Jesus was so great that praying to Him and being with Him at times even accelerated her heart rate! One time, the young mystic prayed and approached the altar. “God’s presence pervaded my soul. I was plunged into an ocean of His divinity, and Jesus said to me, ‘My daughter, all that exists is yours.’” Sister Faustina responded, “My heart wants nothing but You alone, O Treasure of my heart.” Sister Faustina went on, “For all the gifts You give me, thank you, O Lord, but I desire only Your Heart.” With love, she continued, “Though the heavens are immense, they are nothing to me without You. You know very well, O Jesus, that I am constantly swooning because of my longing for You.” Jesus answered her, “Know this, My daughter, that you are already tasting now what other souls will obtain only in eternity” (Diary, 969).

Just then, Sr. Faustina’s soul was completely flooded with the knowledge of God. So much so that she could hardly describe it. She wrote, “Oh, would that I could express even a little of what my soul experiences when resting near the Heart of the incomprehensible Majesty! I cannot put it into words!” She stated, “Only a soul who has experienced such a great grace at least once in his life, will recognize it.” Sister Faustina returned to her room. The transition from being so intimately present with Jesus back to reality, so to speak, was intense. She recalled, “[I]t seemed to me that I was coming from real life to death.” The doctor came to see her and checked her pulse. “You have never had a pulse like this! I would like to know what has speeded it up so much.” Sister Faustina was at a loss for words. “What could I tell him, when I myself did not know that my pulse was so rapid. I only know that I am dying of yearning for God, but this I did not tell him, for how can medicine help in this instance?” (Diary, 970). It can’t. Only the Divine Physician can take care of these matters! Do we also yearn for God so intensely?

At times, due to illness, Sr. Faustina was ordered to stay in her room. It was truly a bittersweet dilemma because she desired to participate at Mass and receive Holy Communion, but she also wanted to be obedient. Jesus knew her heart and desired her obedience. Other times, the Lord of Heaven would reduce the young mystic’s fever or restore her health so that she could go to the chapel to receive Him in Holy Communion. She lived for and craved the Bread of Heaven. One time, Jesus told her, “In the Host is your power; It will defend you.” Then Jesus allowed her to see a vision of a bright Sacred Host in her cell. The vision disappeared and a “strange power” entered her soul. “[A]nd a strange light as to what our love for God consists in; namely, in doing His will” (Diary, 616).

Another time, Sr. Faustina was deeply moved at a Holy Hour when Jesus allowed her to mysteriously and miraculously enter the Cenacle (the upper room where the Last Supper took place) to witness what happened there. “I was most deeply moved when, before the Consecration, Jesus raised His eyes to heaven and entered into a mysterious conversation with His Father. It is only in eternity that we shall really understand that moment.” She wrote, “His eyes were like two flames; His face was radiant, white as snow; His whole personage full of majesty, His soul full of longing.” She observed, “At the moment of Consecration, love rested satiated — the sacrifice fully consummated ... Never in my whole life had I understood this mystery so profoundly as during that hour of adoration. Oh, how ardently I desire that the whole world would come to know this unfathomable mystery!” (Diary, 684).

Something to Ponder
Saint Faustina wished everyone would believe in eternity. Let’s join her in praying for those who don’t believe. Not believing in a life after this one means believing there are no consequences for sin and that hell does not exist! This notion is fabricated by the devil, who is constantly on the prowl, seeking to snatch souls to hell. Saint Faustina also ardently desired that the whole world would come to know the unfathomable mystery of Jesus present in the Eucharist and His message of Divine Mercy. Take time this week to ponder the Eucharist in your life. Can you strive to carve out more time to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament? If sickness or infirmity prevents it, you can pray right where you are. Be sure to pray for the souls who don’t yet believe in God or those who are lukewarm and cause much pain to Jesus. Their souls are in serious jeopardy. May God have mercy on us all.

A Merciful Action
Ask Jesus to increase the love in your heart so that you can continually reach out in mercy to others in need. Remember that moving out of your comfort zone to help others is often difficult but can cause great transformations to come about — yours as well as theirs. Pray for many opportunities!


A PRAYER OF MERCY FOR THIS WEEK
(To be prayed each day this week.)
Dear Merciful Jesus, open my heart to receive Your love at all times, but especially in Holy Communion and while visiting with
You in the Blessed Sacrament.
Help me to pass Your love on to others without reserve.
Mother Mary, help me.
Saint Faustina, please pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.
Amen

You can order 52 Weeks with St. Faustina by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle here:

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Jacob Bentzinger, Unsplash