“Without Adoration there is no transformation of the world.”
† Pope Benedict XVI
What more does Our Beloved Pope Benedict XVI say about the importance of Eucharistic Adoration? Read on…
“The act of adoration outside Mass prolongs and intensifies all that takes place during the liturgical
celebration itself,” the Pope says to encourage Eucharistic adoration.
“Wherever possible, it would be appropriate, especially in densely populated areas, to set aside specific
churches or oratories for perpetual adoration,” he adds. “I also recommend that, in their catechetical
training, and especially in their preparation for First Holy Communion, children be taught the meaning
and the beauty of spending time with Jesus, and helped to cultivate a sense of awe before his presence
in the Eucharist.”
“Sacrament of Charity” Based on Work of ’05 Synod
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 13, 2007
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION MUST BECOME EVER MORE WIDESPREAD
VATICAN CITY, NOV 9, 2006 (VIS) “……just how beneficial the rediscovery of Eucharistic
adoration by many Christians is. … How much need modern humanity has to rediscover the source of
its hope in the Sacrament of the Eucharist! I thank the Lord because many parishes, alongside the
devout celebration of Mass, are educating the faithful in Eucharistic adoration. And it is my hope that –
also in view of the next International Eucharistic Congress – this practice will become ever more
APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO COLOGNE
ON THE OCCASION OF THE XX WORLD YOUTH DAY EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI
Cologne – Marienfeld
Sunday, 21 August 2005
Dear Young Friends,
Yesterday evening we came together in the presence of the Sacred Host, in which Jesus becomes for us
the bread that sustains and feeds us (cf. Jn 6: 35), and there we began our inner journey of adoration. In
the Eucharist, adoration must become union.
…….. I like to illustrate this new step urged upon us by the Last Supper by drawing out the different
nuances of the word “adoration” in Greek and in Latin. The Greek word is proskynesis. It refers to the
gesture of submission, the recognition of God as our true measure, supplying the norm that we choose
to follow. It means that freedom is not simply about enjoying life in total autonomy, but rather about
living by the measure of truth and goodness, so that we ourselves can become true and good. This
gesture is necessary even if initially our yearning for freedom makes us inclined to resist it.
We can only fully accept it when we take the second step that the Last Supper proposes to us. The
Latin word for adoration is ad-oratio – mouth to mouth contact, a kiss, an embrace, and hence,
ultimately love. Submission becomes union, because he to whom we submit is Love. In this way
submission acquires a meaning, because it does not impose anything on us from the outside, but
liberates us deep within. …….” You can read the entire letter at the Vatican web site.
EXPLAINING THE EUCHARIST TO CHILDREN
Note: Pope Benedict XVI addressed this catechesis to children about to receive their First Communion,
15 October 2005.
1. Andrea [asked the first question]: “Dear Pope, what are your memories of your First Communion
Benedict XVI: I would first like to say thank you for this celebration of faith that you are offering to me,
for your presence and for your joy. I greet you and thank you for the hug I have received from some of
you, a hug that, of course, symbolically stands for you all.
As for the question, of course I remember my First Communion day very well. It was a lovely Sunday
in March 1936, 69 years ago. It was a sunny day, the church looked very beautiful, there was music. …
There were so many beautiful things that I remember. There were about 30 of us, boys and girls from
my little village of no more than 500 inhabitants.
But at the heart of my joyful and beautiful memories is this one — and your spokesperson said the same
thing: I understood that Jesus had entered my heart, he had actually visited me. And with Jesus, God
himself was with me. And I realized that this is a gift of love that is truly worth more than all the other
things that life can give.
So on that day I was really filled with great joy, because Jesus came to me and I realized that a new
stage in my life was beginning, I was 9 years old, and that it was henceforth important to stay faithful to
that encounter, to that communion. I promised the Lord as best I could: “I always want to stay with
you,” and I prayed to him, “but above all, stay with me.” So I went on living my life like that; thanks be
to God, the Lord has always taken me by the hand and guided me, even in difficult situations.
Thus, that day of my First Communion was the beginning of a journey made together. I hope that for all
of you too, the First Communion you have received in this Year of the Eucharist will be the beginning of
a lifelong friendship with Jesus, the beginning of a journey together, because in walking with Jesus we
do well and life becomes good.
2. Livia: “Holy Father, before the day of my First Communion I went to confession. I have also been to
confession on other occasions. I wanted to ask you: Do I have to go to confession every time I receive
Communion, even when I have committed the same sins? Because I realize that they are always the
Benedict XVI: I will tell you two things. The first, of course, is that you do not always have to go to
confession before you receive Communion unless you have committed such serious sins that they need
to be confessed. Therefore, it is not necessary to make one’s confession before every Eucharistic
Communion. This is the first point. It is only necessary when you have committed a really serious sin,
when you have deeply offended Jesus, so that your friendship is destroyed and you have to start again.
Only in that case, when you are in a state of “mortal” sin, in other words, grave [sin], is it necessary to
go to confession before Communion. This is my first point.
My second point: Even if, as I said, it is not necessary to go to confession before each Communion, it is
very helpful to confess with a certain regularity. It is true: Our sins are always the same, but we clean
our homes, our rooms, at least once a week, even if the dirt is always the same; in order to live in
cleanliness, in order to start again. Otherwise, the dirt might not be seen but it builds up.
Something similar can be said about the soul, for me myself: If I never go to confession, my soul is
neglected and in the end I am always pleased with myself and no longer understand that I must always
work hard to improve, that I must make progress. And this cleansing of the soul which Jesus gives us in
the sacrament of confession helps us to make our consciences more alert, more open, and hence, it also
helps us to mature spiritually and as human persons. Therefore, two things: Confession is only necessary
in the case of a serious sin, but it is very helpful to confess regularly in order to foster the cleanliness and
beauty of the soul and to mature day by day in life.
3. Andrea: “In preparing me for my First Communion day, my catechist told me that Jesus is present in
the Eucharist. But how? I can’t see him!”
Benedict XVI: No, we cannot see him, but there are many things that we do not see but they exist and
are essential. For example: we do not see our reason, yet we have reason. We do not see our intelligence
and we have it. In a word: we do not see our soul and yet it exists and we see its effects, because we
can speak, think and make decisions, etc. Nor do we see an electric current, for example, yet we see
that it exists; we see this microphone, that it is working, and we see lights. Therefore, we do not see the
very deepest things, those that really sustain life and the world, but we can see and feel their effects.
This is also true for electricity; we do not see the electric current but we see the light.
So it is with the Risen Lord: We do not see him with our eyes but we see that wherever Jesus is, people
change, they improve. A greater capacity for peace, for reconciliation, etc., is created. Therefore, we do
not see the Lord himself but we see the effects of the Lord: So we can understand that Jesus is present.
And as I said, it is precisely the invisible things that are the most profound, the most important. So let us
go to meet this invisible but powerful Lord who helps us to live well.
4. Giulia: “Your Holiness, everyone tells us that it is important to go to Mass on Sunday. We would
gladly go to it, but often our parents do not take us because on Sundays they sleep. The parents of a
friend of mine work in a shop, and we often go to the country to visit our grandparents. Could you say
something to them, to make them understand that it is important to go to Mass together on Sundays?”
Benedict XVI: I would think so, of course, with great love and great respect for your parents, because
they certainly have a lot to do. However, with a daughter’s respect and love, you could say to them:
“Dear Mommy, dear Daddy, it is so important for us all, even for you, to meet Jesus. This encounter
enriches us. It is an important element in our lives. Let’s find a little time together, we can find an
opportunity. Perhaps there is also a possibility where Grandma lives.”
In brief, I would say, with great love and respect for your parents, I would tell them: “Please understand
that this is not only important for me, it is not only catechists who say it, it is important for us all. And it
will be the light of Sunday for all our family.”
5. Alessandro: “What good does it do for our everyday life to go to holy Mass and receive Communion?”
Benedict XVI: It centers life. We live amid so many things. And the people who do not go to church, do
not know that it is precisely Jesus they lack. But they feel that something is missing in their lives. If God
is absent from my life, if Jesus is absent from my life, a guide, an essential friend is missing, even an
important joy for life, the strength to grow as a man, to overcome my vices and mature as a human
Therefore, we cannot immediately see the effects of being with Jesus and of going to Communion. But
with the passing of the weeks and years, we feel more and more keenly the absence of God, the
absence of Jesus. It is a fundamental and destructive incompleteness. I could easily speak of countries
where atheism has prevailed for years: how souls are destroyed, but also the earth. In this way we can
see that it is important, and I would say fundamental, to be nourished by Jesus in Communion. It is he
who gives us enlightenment, offers us guidance for our lives, a guidance that we need.
6. Anna: “Dear Pope, can you explain to us what Jesus meant when he said to the people who were
following him: ‘I am the bread of life?'”
Benedict XVI: First of all, perhaps we should explain clearly what bread is. Today, we have a refined
cuisine, rich in very different foods, but in simpler situations bread is the basic source of nourishment;
and when Jesus called himself the bread of life, the bread is, shall we say, the initial, an abbreviation that
stands for all nourishment.
And as we need to nourish our bodies in order to live, so we also need to nourish our spirits, our souls
and our wills. As human persons, we do not only have bodies but also souls; we are thinking beings with
minds and wills. We must also nourish our spirits and our souls, so that they can develop and truly attain
And therefore, if Jesus says: “I am the bread of life,” it means that Jesus himself is the nourishment we
need for our soul, for our inner self, because the soul also needs food. And technical things do not
suffice, although they are so important. We really need God’s friendship, which helps us to make the
right decisions. We need to mature as human beings. In other words: Jesus nourishes us so that we can
truly become mature people and our lives become good.
7. Adriano: “Holy Father, they’ve told us that today we will have Eucharistic adoration. What is it? How
is it done? Can you explain it to us? Thank you.”
Benedict XVI: We will see straightaway what adoration is and how it is done, because everything has
been properly prepared for it: We will say prayers, we will sing, kneel, and in this way we will be in
But of course, your question requires a deeper answer: not only how you do adoration but what
adoration is. I would say: Adoration is recognizing that Jesus is my Lord, that Jesus shows me the way
to take, and that I will live well only if I know the road that Jesus points out and follow the path he
Therefore, adoration means saying: “Jesus, I am yours. I will follow you in my life, I never want to lose
this friendship, this communion with you.” I could also say that adoration is essentially an embrace with
Jesus in which I say to him: “I am yours, and I ask you, please stay with me always.”