VATICAN CITY, OCT. 7, 2005 (Zenit.org).- For members of the Synod of Bishops, Eucharistic adoration is not only a daily practice, but a key topic of discussion.
In the synod on the Eucharist, many bishops have dedicated their comments to underlining the importance of adoration of the Body of Christ.
According to Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes, Eucharistic adoration has been a genuine “discovery,” as opposed to a rediscovery, for many young French Catholics who participated in Cologne’s World Youth Day in August.
The prelate said that faith without understanding the importance of Eucharistic adoration risks having a faith that is “individualistic and not very ecclesial”; that is unable to adequately express itself; and that “neglects other ways of the presence, real though different, of the risen Christ,” as in the poor.
Bishop Perrier pointed out that young people “cannot live without images,” and said that adoration has “the immense advantage of being lived as a face to face.”
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and librarian of the Vatican Library, called for a rediscovery of the meaning of genuflection, which is being lost among many Catholics of the West.
The cardinal lamented that the “genuflection is virtually not practiced during the celebration of Mass.”
“It would be good for us to recall the importance of Christian testimony and the communities that do not hesitate to kneel down to attest to the greatness and nearness of God in the Eucharist,” he suggested.
Regarding Eucharistic adoration, the cardinal said that “churches are often closed on weekdays and visits to the Blessed Sacrament are often impossible.”
Cardinal Tauran reminded the synod’s participants that it is “before the Eucharist that man recognizes that he has need of the Other to give him new energies for life’s combats.”
“A world without adoration,” he said, would be “a world that would be no more than the world of production, which would soon become unbreathable. A world without adoration is not only irreligious — it is inhuman!”
On the rise
Bishop José Guadalupe Martín Rábago of Leon, president of the Mexican bishops’ conference, said that Eucharistic adoration is frequently practiced in his country.
“Nocturnal adoration continues to be alive,” he said, “avoiding many difficulties resulting from the secularization of customs.” There are more than 4 million nocturnal adorers in Mexico, he added.
Bishop Martín Rábago added that it is “urgent to undertake a renewal of nocturnal adoration that, while respecting its style, will allow for the integration of a scheme of prayer more adapted to the spiritual sensitivity of our time.”
Bishop Pierre Trân Dinh Tu of Phu Cuong, Vietnam, said that in his country parishes are requested to build halls for adoration outside the church and to organize several hours of adoration during the day. “There are already many parishes that follow this practice,” he said.
Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, explained that Eucharistic adoration has become a means for Hindus and Protestants in India to approach the Church. He also said that the practice of nocturnal adoration, especially in families, is on the increase.
The synodal fathers are able to participate in Eucharistic adoration for one hour in the morning, and one hour in the afternoon, in a chapel in the building of the synod’s hall. On Oct. 17 there will be joint adoration.