Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Reason # 801 To Be Catholic: Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration is a devotion where one spends time in front of our Eucharistic Lord exposed in a monstrance (fancy holder). The concept of EA had it genesis in the early Church with the writings of the early Church Fathers including Saint Augustine but came to full understanding with the theological exegesis of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He  was commissioned by the pope in the 13th century to write a liturgy for the feast of Corpus Christi to remind the faithful of the importance of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. He carefully explained how Christ's body and blood were made present on the altar in the appearances of bread and wine. He termed this transubstantiation. He even composed beautiful hymns to be sung during the exposition of the Lord, which are still sung to this day!
   Though the doctrine of transubstantiation was not new but carried forth from Jesus to the apostles and onward, this new term was used to bring more light and understanding to the mystery.  Anti-Catholics often point to the term transubstantiation and claim that it was first believed in during the 12th century, because the term is not found earlier. Alas, they are mistaken.
   So why is Eucharistic Adoration a reason to be Catholic? Because if you truly believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist, you have an opportunity in many parishes in almost every diocese to stop by and spend some time before the Lord, worshiping, thanking, praising, and adoring Him.  Eucharistic adoration is where "the rubber truly meets the road" regarding our faith. If we truly believe that Jesus becomes present under the appearances of bread and wine, wouldn't we do what we could to spend some time before Him in prayer?  As Christians, we spend our lives attempting to grow closer with the Lord with the ultimate goal of being with Him in heaven. As Catholic Christians, we are given the opportunity to not only grow closer to the Lord here, but we can have especially intense times of worship and adoration, kneeling before Him, really truly present as the Eucharist. Blessed Mother Theresa, Blessed Pope John Paul 2, Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen and countless other saints spent time daily before the Eucharistic Lord.
   Isn't it just like the God who fashioned the universe out of nothing to come to us as a tiny infant in Bethlehem 2000 years ago, to continue to abide with us in the humble appearance of a wafer of unleavened wheat bread?

Saint Augustine 400 AD
  " For He received earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He took flesh from the flesh of Mary. He walked here in the same flesh, and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless he adores it ; and thus it is discovered how such a footstool of the Lord's feet is adored; and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring."

Saint Thomas Aquinas 13th Century :
Word made flesh, the bread of nature
     By his word to flesh he turns;
Wine into his blood he changes:—
     What though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
     Faith her lesson quickly learns.

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