If you have never heard of Eucharistic Adoration, then you are missing out on a truly life-changing form of prayer.
Since Catholics believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, then a consecrated host is no longer just a piece of bread. It has become the Body of Christ. It doesn’t just represent Christ or remind us of Christ. The Eucharist is Christ.
Because Christ is truly present in the Eucharist during Mass, Catholics show reverence to the leftover consecrated hosts. They are stored in a special box called the tabernacle. Catholics bow or genuflect (a quick kneel) when walking in front of the tabernacle, to acknowledge Christ’s presence there. And in some churches, a piece of consecrated host will sometimes be taken from the tabernacle and put on display in a golden vessel on the altar. The golden vessel is called a monstrance. It is shaped like the sun, with a clear window for the host in the center. When the Eucharist is displayed in the monstrance, it is called Eucharistic Adoration.
Some churches hold Eucharistic Adoration evenings once a month, where you have an opportunity to spend time in prayer before Jesus in the Eucharist. In some places, there is an adoration chapel with 24-hour access. People volunteer to go in the middle of the night to spend quiet time with Jesus!
What can you do during Eucharistic Adoration? It’s a very personal form of prayer between you and the Lord. Sometimes people sing or read aloud from the Bible. Other times, you sit quietly and just think or listen for God’s direction. You can also bring a book to read or a prayer journal.
How you pray before Jesus in the Eucharist is up to you. But I encourage you to try it at least once. Yes, it can feel strange and awkward to just sit in a quiet room with the Lord. But once you get used to it, you can have intimate conversations with Jesus, and He will speak to you like never before.