When I was growing up my home parish in this time after Easter held its forty hours adoration. In fact most parishes in the city had a similar devotion. It was in fact a form of perpetual adoration but not continuously in one place.. During the year we would visit many churches to pray but also to see the displays of flowers placed in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I believe the tradition started in Europe in the 1500’s when there was a real threat of invasion by the Turkish Empire. It was a prayer and plea for protection for the Christian communities in danger.
In our own parish there is a few hours of Adoration on a Tues Evening from 5 pm to 8 pm and on Thurs morning after Mass for an hour.
Today I believe we need to be reminded of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and of our need to receive the Eucharist so that we can be strengthened in our faith and be better able to face the challenges of life.
I am always impressed by the diligence of parents who struggle to get their children to Mass and to religious education but I am not so naïve as to believe that it is always so.
On a recent Religious Ed Sunday I was very aware of the disparity in numbers of those who signed in before Mass and the continuous stream of those who signed in during Mass and after Mass. Without the example of parents going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist the family based religious Ed program is a little like a waste of time. Two different signals are being given, and most times the bad example wins.
The Christians of the 1500’s believed that the Christ would save them and he did. The feast of the holy rosary celebrates that victory over the Turkish Empire at the Gates of Vienna.
If we as Christians are to have any hope of fulfilling our mission of going out to the whole world and proclaiming and living a Christian life to the full then it must be based on a solid belief that he or she who eats the body and blood of Christ will have life to the full and the strength to carry out and live the Christian life to the full. The Christ who told the disciples he would be with them until the end of time is with us in word and sacrament and he wants to share that with us not just on occasion but every week so that we have the strength for the Journey Let the Journey continue with the Good Shepherd as our guide.
Pray for me as I pray for you,