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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: August 1, 2016
"The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host." — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Pope Francis has repeatedly encouraged the faithful to spend time before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In a recent message to those preparing for the Eucharistic Congress in Genoa, Italy Sept. 15-18, he said, “I want to encourage everyone to visit — if possible, every day — especially amid life’s difficulties, the Blessed Sacrament of the infinite love of Christ and his mercy, preserved in our churches, and often abandoned, to speak filially with him, to listen to him in silence, and to peacefully entrust yourself to him."
He joins many who have come before him in highlighting the spiritual fruits of eucharistic adoration. "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 to 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." (St. John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae, 3)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that Jesus is truly present — body, blood, soul and divinity — in the Eucharist. (1374) And this presence "begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the eucharistic species subsist."
Therefore, the "Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult (worship) 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." (1378)
"How many of you say: I should like to see his face, his garments, his shoes? You do see him, you touch him, you eat him. He gives himself to you, not only that you may see him, but also to be your food and nourishment." — St. John Chrysostom
Jesus told his disciples: "I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Through the Eucharist he has fulfilled this promise in a very tangible and intimate way.
"Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us 'to the end,' even to the giving of his life. In his eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love." (catechism, 1380)
During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has offered a special invitation for us to reconcile with the Lord, accept his unending mercy and extend that mercy to others.
Key among his suggestions is spending time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. In fact, during Lent he asked parishes worldwide to set aside one whole day (24 consecutive hours) to offer the sacrament of reconciliation and eucharistic adoration.
Catholic parishes across Arkansas offer eucharistic adoration, many 24 hours a day. If you haven't taken part in eucharistic adoration in a long time or never before, we invite you to come and worship. Visit our adoration schedule to find a parish near you that offers this devotion.
"Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you — for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart ..." — St. Therese of Lisieux