“My joy, my pleasure, my delight is to be with you” (Prov 8:31).

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament — also known as Eucharistic Adoration — is the adoration of Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine.

Exposition is the placement of the sacred host outside the tabernacle for public adoration.

Some churches have perpetual adoration chapels where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed 24 hours a day, and individuals (“adorers”) make a commitment to take turns being there around the clock. The Eucharist is displayed in a special holder — a monstrance — that is placed on the altar.

St. Alphonsus Liguori commented on Eucharistic Adoration: “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.”

Spending time before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer and devotion is spending time before the living God.

When going to Eucharistic Adoration, enter the chapel — or the church where Eucharistic Adoration has been made available —in silence and reverence and genuflect on both knees before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and make the Sign of the Cross. Then kneel in prayer — recite favorite prayers, the rosary or a chaplet. Sit and do some spiritual reading, write in a prayer journal, meditate, give thanks. It’s a time to contemplate acts of faith, hope and charity; a time to simply be in the presence of Jesus, a time to listen to the Holy Spirit, a time to examine one’s conscience in preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Many people sign up for a specific hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each week — it is their personal time with Jesus; others drop in to the chapel as they can.

“Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration with exposition needs a great push. People ask me: ‘What will convert America and save the world?’ My answer is prayer,” St. Teresa of Calcutta said. “What we need is for every parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in holy hours of prayer.”

And St. John Paul II wrote, “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.”

—Originally published in the Fall 2022 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.