Adoration: 10 Ways to Practice It! Let's Try It!

Please also listen to Father Broom's talk on this topic

The highest form of prayer is that of adoration. Father John Hardon, S.J. defines adoration as the act of religion by which God is recognized as alone worthy of supreme honor because he is infinitely perfect, has supreme dominion over humans and the right to human total dependence on the creator. It is an act of mind and will, expressing itself in appropriate prayers, postures of praise, and act so reverence and sacrifice.” ( Pocket Catholic Dictionary, Father John Hardon, S.J. page 10)

In honor of the Kings who came to honor Jesus and pay Him homage and adoration by their prostrations and generous gifts, we will offer ten specific ways that we can cultivate an attitude of adoration in our own lives

     1. THE GLORY BE--- Pray this Trinitarian prayer of praise slowly and think what you are really doing: praising and giving glory and honor to the Triune God—the one God and three distinct persons.

.     2. PSALMS. Priests, deacons and Religious pray the Liturgy of the Hours every day so as to sanctify the hours in different specific times. Many of the Psalms indeed are Psalms of praise. For example, go to the last three Psalms of the Psalter and you will be praying Psalms of praise. This is not exclusive; there are many more Psalms of praise. Be more attentive as you pray the Psalms as to the quality of praise. The Psalter which consists of 150 Psalms is the greatest prayer book in the universe. Get in the habit of praying the Psalms more often and praising God.

     3. ST. FRANCIS: THE CANTICLE OF THE SUN. One of the most famous prayers of St. Francis, along with the prayer, “Make me a channel of your peace” is “The Canticle of the Sun”. This beautiful and poetic hymn, song attributed to St. Francis invites us to praise God through the beauty of nature. All nature praises God by its mere existence. However as Christians we do not praise creation; rather we praise the Author/Creator of creation--- God Himself. By admiring the beauty of creation, our eyes, mind and heart is elevated to the Origin of all beauty, God Himself.

     4. PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION. Off the bat, St. Ignatius invites us to reflect on the reason for our existence in “Principle and Foundation”. In the very first words Ignatius says, “Man is created to praise God…..” All the other considerations follow the call to praise God…

      5. ANGELIC CHOIRS. St. Thomas Aquinas divided the angels into categories or groups which are called “Choirs”: angels, archangels, principalities, virtues, powers, dominations thrones, cherubim and seraphim. The highest choirs of angels have as their primary purpose and goal to praise God, the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, devotion to angels can heighten our ability to praise God. Their example and prayer indeed can motivate us to do the same! That first Christmas night the Shepherds learned about the birth of the Infant Child Jesus die to the announcement of the choirs of angels in the darkness and the cold of the night. “And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Lk. 2:13-14).

      6. THE ANGEL OF FATIMA. Before Our Lady of Fatima appeared to the three shepherd children, Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia, the Guardian Angel of Portugal appeared three times to them. The angel taught them to pray to God; also the angel taught them a posture of prayer which was how to prostrate before the Majesty and Awesome greatness of God and to praise Him. Furthermore, the angel invited them to offer prayers of reparation. Finally, the third and final apparition, the angel appeared, but suspended in the air was the Blessed Sacrament, the Most Holy Sacrament, The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. A Large Host could be seen and below it the Chalice of the Blood of Jesus. The angel invited them to receive and offer reparation for the sins against this most sublime and august of Sacraments. In sum, the message of Fatima can bring us to our knees in humble adoration before our Eucharistic Lord; once again through the instrumentality of the angels! O come let us adore the Lord!

     7. THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS. Beyond a shadow of doubt the most perfect way that any human being can adore God on this earth which is truly the antechamber of heaven is through a reverent, devout, fervent and faith-filled attendance, and participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The ultimate goal and purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is to praise God the Father, by the offering of God the Son--- Jesus the spotless victim—and through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Doxology says it all: “Through Him, with Him, and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever. Amen! This sublime gesture is done right before the praying of the Our Father and shortly before receiving the Bread of the angels, Holy Communion!

      8. OUR LIFE. In one of his brilliant commentaries, the great St. Augustine cautions us to be authentic. He says that we should be careful to not contradict the praise we have uttered with our lips with the hypocrisy of our lives. In other words, the praise that resounds from our hearts and lips must be reflected by the love we manifest to our brothers and sisters. Remember the last and greatest commandment of Jesus: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

      9. CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER OF ADORATION. The church invites us to come before the Blessed Sacrament to be with the Lord. However, simply being in front of the Blessed Sacrament does not mean that we indeed are praising God. Statues, corpses, and bicycle pumps can be in front of the Blessed Sacrament and we cannot say that they are adoring the Lord! It is up to Pastors, teachers and catechists to train the faithful how to exercise the art of adoration. Some practical suggestions! Silence in church because we are approaching a three times holy God. (Isaiah’s vision in the temple). GENULFLECTION! With great reverence, make a genuflection. This indeed is a gesture of recognition of who God is and our duty to adore Him with this bodily posture. Look at Him with love; as the Psalmist invites us:“Look to the Lord and be radiant with joy.” Allow your memory, mind, understanding, will and affections be totally engaged and enthralled, absorbed in HE WHOM YOU ARE CONVERSING WITH! True prayer involves the engagement of the whole person and can lead to adoration!

     10. MARY. Mary can teach us how to pray. When she appears she always invites us to pray. The longest and most beautiful prayer of Mary in the Bible is her Magnificat which is an invitation to pray to God, but especially to praise God. Listen to the words that the Holy Spirit inspired in the Immaculate Heart of Mary: “My soul magnifies the Lord…. Another way for saying, “My soul praises the Lord…” May Our Lady teach us to praise God here on earth and in heaven for all eternity!