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Sitting in the presence of God at Eucharistic adoration is an awesome experience — but one that can feel as daunting as it is special. We’re used to distractions. We struggle with silence.

The inherent intimacy of adoration can feel uncomfortable in this day of endless social connectedness. We live our lives more publicly than ever, but adoration calls us to a private, one-on-one experience — what can and should be a breath of fresh air, a chance to quiet our minds and still our spirits, renewing ourselves for the work of Christian discipleship.

So then, what are we to say to Our Father when it’s just us alone with him?

The following prompts, for prayer or for journaling, will provide you with inspiration and guidance for making your time in Eucharistic adoration a time you truly cherish — and even look forward to.

Go to the Source

As we learn in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life.” But what does that mean for us practically, in the way we live each day?

In adoration, we can contemplate the role we allow the Eucharist — or, more broadly, Jesus’ sacrifice for us — to play in our daily routines. Do we consider Jesus’ love for us the source from which our lives flow? Do our words and actions witness that we have been bought with a price, and accordingly, do we respond with gratitude? Do we live as though we have been freed from sin, or do we choose to remain chained to earthly concerns and pursuits?

Reflect: What does it mean to you that the Eucharist is the source of your life as a Christian? Think or write about what you’ve done or said in the past week that would serve as testimony to the power of the Eucharist to fuel joyful missionary disciples.

Reach for the Summit

Not only is the Eucharist our primary source of grace, but it’s also the pinnacle of all we hope to achieve as Christians: sacrificial, perfect love poured out freely and without reservation.

When we spend time gazing upon the Eucharist, we’re looking into the heart of ultimate love — experiencing a bond more powerful than any mortal beings can build together. Our relationship with God is the most important one we’ll ever have, and even as we grow in that relationship, it prepares us to unite completely with God when we reach heaven — the pinnacle of Christian longing.

Reflect: Think or write about how attending Mass prepares you to get to heaven. How do you feel after you’ve just received Communion? List three areas in which you believe you’re on the right path in your Christian journey, then challenge yourself to identify three areas where you need to change or improve. (Then ask God for the strength to do so.)

Experience the Real Presence

The sacrament of the Eucharist is not merely a symbol. It is, quite literally, a miracle that we can experience every day of our lives if we choose to attend Mass or a Communion service. And, of course, if we choose to believe.

For many Catholics, the idea that the bread and wine indeed become the actual body and blood of Christ has become just that: an idea, not a reality. But adoration provides a perfect opportunity for anyone, at any stage of belief, to dig deeply into what is in their hearts.

Reflect: Do you believe in the Real Presence? Do you feel God coming into your presence and into your body when you receive Communion? If not, don’t be ashamed. Spend time understanding why you feel the way you do. What’s holding you back from fully believing in transubstantiation? Do you struggle to believe in miracles? Is it hard to believe that God loves you so much he would freely give himself to you at every Mass? If you do believe in the Real Presence, how do you feel knowing God is literally, physically with you in the Eucharist?

Go in Peace, to Love and Serve

In his Unleash the Gospel pastoral letter, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron explains that the Eucharist stamps us with “the pattern of Christ’s own self-giving love so that we can reproduce that pattern in our own lives.”

He also reminds us that the goal of the liturgy isn’t simply to receive the sacrament and then go home, but “to become a living tabernacle through which Christ is made present to others.” And so when Mass ends, we are sent forth to love and serve the Lord. It’s an active, literal command for which we then enthusiastically give thanks to God. But are we genuinely grateful for that call to evangelization and discipleship?

Reflect: Have you ever talked to a non-Catholic about the Eucharist? How would you explain what it is and why it is essential to our Catholic faith and our Christian lives? How does Mass prepare you to go out into the world and share your experience, through both words and deeds?

Walk Humbly with God

In the Eucharist, we see an image of both triumph and humility. The sacrament represents Jesus’ victory over sin and death, but we’re also reminded that our Lord and savior not only deigned to become man and live among us, but that he chose to die in a painful, public way, humbling himself on the cross.

In this way, so let us use our time in adoration to humbly bring to God all our prayers, fears, wants and needs, recognizing that he wants to carry it all for us — and that our lives are ultimately in God’s control.

Reflect: What aspects of your life do you still need to turn over to God’s hands? What burdens or sorrows do you carry that you haven’t discussed with God? Knowing all your power comes from God, name the areas where you need healing, and ask for God’s loving mercy.