“Could you not watch one hour with me (Matthew 26:40)?”
Our church at Katoomba is opened from dawn until dusk each day allowing all to make visits to our Lord present in the Tabernacle. Our churches at Leura and Wentworth Falls are opened at various times during the week for personal visits to our Lord too.
Specifically, we have a chapel for Eucharistic adoration at the back of our Katoomba church, St. Canice’s. Entry to the chapel is from the outside. The chapel is open from Tuesday morning until Friday night, non-stop. We eventually hope to have 24/7 adoration.
You may visit the chapel whenever you like. If you would like a specific hour each week in the chapel, please contact the parish office, 02 4782 2894.
“This is the wonderful truth, my dear friends: the Word which became flesh two thousand years ago, is present today in the Eucharist (Pope St. John Paul II).”
“One cannot know the Lord without the habit of adoring, of adoring in silence (Pope Francis)”
Jesus clearly tells us in Sacred Scripture that the Eucharist is not mere bread and wine (John chapter 6), but it is He: Body and Blood together with His Soul and Divinity, Christ, whole and undivided; hence he was recognised in the breaking of the Bread (Luke 24:35). This has been the unchanging faith of the Church.
Thus, whether in the tabernacle or exposed on the altar in a monstrance, He remains with us. Jesus, is not only our Lord, God and King, but He is our Brother. Being family, we should visit Him often. We can pop in the church most anytime and be with Jesus in quiet contemplation or prayer.
The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained" (CCC 1374).
There are many prayer books available to assist you in a holy hour. We have some in our chapel for you to use. You may pray the Rosary and other prayers, read the Bible or other spiritual books be it Fulton Sheen or Scott Hahn or even a Catechism or the lives of the Saints such as Therese of Lisieux or Gianna Beretta Molla, as examples. Alternatively, you can simply rest in his presence. “Come to me all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).”
Entering into His presence, Christ draws near to us, strengthening our share in His Divine life. Pope John Paul II said, “It is pleasant to spend time with him, to lie close to his breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. John 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in his heart. If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the ‘art of prayer,’ how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament? How often, dear brother and sisters, have I experienced this, and drawn from it strength, consolation and support!”
Archbishop Fulton Sheen gave reasons why he made a holy hour every day, and why he encouraged others to make a holy hour too. You can read his thoughts here.
A relic of St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, India, is found in our Adoration Chapel. St. Theresa gave the following reflection of Adoration of Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament.
“Every holy hour we make so pleases the Heart of Jesus that it will be recorded in Heaven and retold for all eternity. It opens up the floodgates of God’s merciful Love upon the world.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. It will make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven. A Holy Hour of adoration helps bring everlasting peace to your soul and in your family. It brings us personal peace and strength. It brings us a greater love for Jesus, for each other, and for the poor. Every holy hour deepens our union with Him and bears much fruit.”
To read the rest of her reflection visit here.
Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta (her Feast Day is September 5th).
There are important reasons on the spiritual benefits of doing one hour of adoration per week.
After having given his body and blood to eat and drink in the upper room, Jesus invites his disciples to the Garden of Olives to pray with him: "Could you not watch one hour with Me?" (Mk 14:27)
The Church reminds us that our community celebration at Mass must go hand in hand with our personal love for Christ in adoration so that the Eucharistic grace is fully effective in our lives. Adoring the Blessed Sacrament one hour each week creates a direct link with our weekly Mass. The Mass and the hour of adoration make it possible to acquire a true Eucharistic spirituality, focusing the week on the Eucharist.
Some say they prefer to pray at home. Experience shows that it is more difficult to pray at home because of noise, distractions or various disturbances than in a chapel dedicated solely to prayer. The Eucharist is the sublime means that God gives in the superabundance of His love so that man may unite with Him. The Church today strongly encourages the practice of Eucharistic adoration. It would be a pity to neglect it! Wanting to meet God within us in a heart-to-heart without going through the face-to-face adoration requires a lot of inner purification and a solid formation, otherwise the prayer will bring us back to ourselves and not to God present in us. The face to face of adoration helps to decentre from oneself, to centre oneself on Christ. Contemplating the Host leads us to the heart to heart with Jesus.
Practical Reason: It is easier to free one hour per week than one hour per month in our usage of time established on a weekly basis.
Whatever discipline we exercise (physical, intellectual or spiritual), regularity proves to be fundamental. Without asceticism (spiritual exercises), there can be no progress. No spiritual progress is possible without regularity or fidelity in the virtue of prayer. Without that, there is a risk that the prayer may be sentimental: "I pray when I feel like it, or rather if I have time left over after all my daily activities ..." And Jesus comes after everything else! Let us remember the words of Jesus to Martha: "Martha, Martha, you care about many things, yet only one is necessary, Mary has chosen the best part and this will not be taken from her" (Lk 10:41). Mary was seated at the feet of Jesus. She leaves everything for a while to give her whole self to Jesus. Adoration is a school of fervour in prayer.
Some refuse to choose a fixed time, but wish to come 'freely', according to their goodwill. This is a hazardous fidelity. Love pushes us to commitment. Freedom is fully exercised when it engages in fidelity in love. To overcome an åffective adoration (one adores when one feels like it ... one is going to pray to 'his Jesus') and to go to an adoration 'in spirit and in truth', to an adoration in the Church and for the Church, we need to commit ourselves!!! "True adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth " (Jn 4:23). Adoration then becomes a service for humanity. We watch in the name of the Church, for those who need it most ... Experience shows that commitment to a fixed hour allows us to persevere in times of spiritual aridity and dryness ...
Giving faithfully one hour a week to Jesus in the adoration chapel helps us to become make ourselves faithful in prayer. We become guardians of the Blessed Sacrament. In the book of Exodus (Ex. 17: 8-13), when Moses, supported by Aaron and Hur, raised his hands to God, the Lord gave victory to his people. In the same way, when the parishioners raise in unity their hearts and lives toward Jesus in adoration, God pours out His love and His mercy upon His Church and casts away all darkness. Through perpetual adoration, at each hour of the day and of the night, we take over from someone and leave our place to someone else. Each one is an indispensable link for the chain of prayer to be continuous and that we may render to Jesus 'love for love'. Adoration is not a form of personal piety, but a communal prayer that "broadens the heart to the dimensions of the world" (Pope St John Paul II).
THE SAINTS ON ADORATION
It is our duty to adore the Blessed Sacrament. No one receives the Blessed Sacrament unless he adores it...and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring. To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement. St. Augustine of Hippo
My aim is to institute Perpetual (Eucharistic) Adoration, for this is the most important activity. God dwells in our midst in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. Let us not forget to visit . . . Jesus. Let us tell Him we love Him. We might ask Him what He wants of us, what are His wishes. Sometimes we might ask Jesus something for ourselves and something for others. One can speak to Jesus as brother to brother, as friend to friend, more so, since it often happens that men do not understand us, whereas Jesus understands each of us always. St. Maximillian Kolbe
You Can read more from the Saints on adoration at the link here.
Not sure how to spend your Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament? Try the following Suggestions to help you live Adoration.
- You have entered into this chapel where you meet Jesus in His Eucharistic Presence ... Enter now into your heart, into the most intimate part of your being ...
- Make yourself silent. Make silent all your inner voices, do not run after useless thoughts. Your problems, your concerns, your fears, do not keep them for yourself, but offer them to Jesus. During this time of adoration, occupy yourself with Him and He will take care of you, much better than you could do yourself. Ask for a grace of abandonment and trust.
- Fix your gaze on the Eucharistic Lord... Begin to speak with your heart, that is to say, begin to love Him who first loved us.
- Avoid pronouncing prayers with the lips only, without reflecting on the words that you say. Choose a verse from a psalm, a phrase from the Gospel, a simple little prayer, and repeat it with the heart, gently and continuously until it becomes your prayer, your cry, your supplication.
- Do not pass all this time only moaning or asking ... Enter into thanksgiving, into gratitude. Instead of considering what you lack, give thanks for what you are, for what you have. Give thanks for whatever will be given to you tomorrow ...
- Maybe you are overcome by fatigue or distractions ... Take heart, as soon as you realise it, start again to pray with your heart, gently. Ask the help of the Holy Spirit that He sustains you in your weakness and that He becomes ever more your inner master.
- Jesus wants to be at the centre of your existence. In gazing upon Him, learn, little by little, to move from "I" to "You", from the desire to achieve your projects to the desire and to the accepting of His Will for you.
- He is solemnly exposed ... Receive the light that emanates from His Presence. As the sun warms and melts the snow, in the same way if you expose yourself to Him, He will continue to illuminate the shades of darkness that envelop your heart to the point of dissipating them completely.
- He hides Himself under the simple and poor appearance of bread ... He comes to you. Poor, so that you can learn to accept the truth of your poverties and those of your brothers.
- You are dwelling in silence, remain in silence ... Mary, Morning Star and Gate of Heaven, is with you on your way, she indicates to you the path and leads you into the King's bedroom. It is She who will make you understand, in silence, that by gazing at Jesus, you will discover the Presence of the Holy Trinity in you. And you can experience in your life the Words of Psalm 33: "Look towards him and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed."