“There is nothing greater or holier we can do on earth than [Eucharistic] adoration” (Saint Peter Julian Eymard, pictured above)
We are looking at the teaching of a great Eucharistic Saint, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, the founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers. He died in 1868 and was canonized in 1962. He lived a life of intense Eucharistic adoration.
In his book, A Eucharistic Handbook, Saint Eymard discusses the “four great homages of Eucharistic adoration, the spirit of which should animate and quicken the entire life of an adorer of the most Blessed Sacrament” (p.167). These four homages, which will be briefly elaborated on by way of condensed quotes from Father Eymard below, are: Adoration, Thanksgiving, Reparation, and the Eucharistic Apostolate of Prayer.
“The Object of Eucharistic adoration is the divine Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, present in the Blessed Sacrament. There is nothing greater or holier we can do on earth than this adoration. Eucharistic adoration is the greatest of actions. To adore is to share the life of the saints in heaven who never cease to praise, bless, and adore the goodness, the love, the glory, the power, and the divinity of the Lamb immolated for the love of men and the glory of God the Father. Eucharistic adoration is the holiest of actions…the perfect exercise of all the virtues [including Faith in the hidden Jesus veiled in the Sacred host, the Piety of self-annihilation before Jesus, Love of God, and Charity by praying for your neighbor in adoration]. To adore well we must, above all, talk to our Lord; He will answer us. Everybody can talk to our Lord” (pp. 177-78, 81, In the Light of the Monstrance, as edited).
“Every gift calls for Thanksgiving; and the greater the gift, the greater also gratitude should be. The Holy Eucharist is the Savior’s Gift of gifts. It is the greatest of all His marvels, the sacramental glorification of all the mysteries of His life. In the presence of so much goodness on the part of Jesus Christ, what should not be the gratitude of the heart of man, who sees himself as the end of the Eucharist! What thanksgiving can measure up to such a gift? What love can repay so much love?” (Handbook, pp.158-59, as edited).
“[This] is first of all a reparation of honor made to Jesus Christ for the ingratitude and the outrages directed to Him in His Sacrament of love; it is also the satisfaction of mercy, pleading for the forgiveness of sinners. The soul should make an act of solemn reparation to this divine Victim; from a sentiment of joy your heart must turn to sadness, to the deepest sorrows on considering the ingratitude, the indifference, the impiety of most men towards the Eucharistic Savior. This is your mission, adorers: to weep at the feet of Jesus despised by His own friends, crucified in many hearts, abandoned in so many places. Your mission is to beg forgiveness for the guilty, to ransom them from divine mercy, to become victims of propitiation with the Savior Jesus” (taken from Handbook, p. 160 and In the Light of the Monstrance, pp.188-89, as edited).
4. THE EUCHARISTIC APOSTOLATE OF PRAYER
“Not everybody can preach Jesus Christ by word of mouth, but every adorer has the mission of Mary at the feet of Jesus: the apostolic mission of prayer, of Eucharistic prayer at the foot of the throne of grace and mercy. Eucharistic prayer has a excellence all its own; it goes straight to the Heart of God like a flaming dart; the adorer prays through Jesus Christ and unites himself to our Lord’s role as Intercessor with the Father and divine Advocate for His redeeemed brethren. Pray that the light of truth of Jesus Christ may enlighten all men. Pray for Jesus’ Kingdom of holiness in His faithful, His religious, His priests. Pray for the Sovereign Pontiff. Pray for the powers of the world. Pray for the poor souls that suffer in Purgatory. Thus adorers at the foot of the Most Blessed sacrament carry on a universal and perpetual mission of prayer, and thus render to God [along with their adoration, thanksgiving and reparation] the most perfect homage He can receive from a creature” (In the Light of the Monstrance, pp. 189-191).
Conclusion: When we go to Eucharistic adoration, we can keep these four essential homages in mind, namely, adoration, thanksgiving, reparation, and petitionary prayer. Utilizing these four great acts of homage, recommended by a great Eucharistic saint, Father Eymard, will increase our love for Jesus and greatly assist our neighbor. We will discover, like Father Eymard, that “our Lord in the Blessed sacrament is the unchanging way to holiness.”
Tom Mulcahy, M.A.
Image Attribution: The image of Saint Peter Julian Eymard processing with the Monstrance appears at Wikipedia and is by Bendi07. It is entitled, The Apostle of the Eucharist. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. It is dated Feb. 28, 2016. The Wikipedia article is incorporated herein by reference.
Ref. The quotes above from Saint Peter Julian Eymard are edited and condensed. For the full and complete discussion of Saint Peter Julian Eymard on these matters, which is much greater in length, see In the Light of the Monstrance and A Eucharistic Handbook (both by Emmanuel Publications).
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