2008-05-25

Perpetual Adoration

Catholics believe that the bread and wine consecrated during the mass “transubstantiate” into the body and blood of Jesus, that is, truly become God without changing their outward appearance. As such, they become proper objects of worship within the mass and, sometimes, outside of the mass. In some parishes, there is a practice known as perpetual adoration in which a consecrated wafer is placed in a monstrance and displayed in a chapel twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year with volunteers scheduled such that at least one person is always present in the chapel offering adoration.

Volumes have been written criticizing the belief in transubstantiation and the reception of communion, but my intention here is only to indicate the absurdity of asking people to keep God company around the clock, even within the context of church teaching. The practice is supposedly voluntary, but it's rather more complicated than it seems because of the goal of continually uninterrupted worship. First, in order to set up and then maintain the practice, the organizers need people for every time slot throughout the week, so parishioners could feel guilted into participating. Second, if someone cannot come during their regular time slot, because of a vacation, a new work or school schedule, sickness, accident, etc., a replacement must be found, even if it's for two o'clock in the morning. And if the person following someone doesn't show up, they're not supposed to leave until someone else can replace them. I fully realize that it's supposed to be a sacrifice, but I object to asking people to make sacrifices which put the elderly and the sleep-deprived on the road in the middle of the night, all to visit a deity who is supposedly present in every corner of the universe. As is typical with religion, it's just absurdity upon absurdity.

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7 comments:

ROBIN said...

Roman Catholics do believe in transubstantiation. The bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Christ. This is a mystery performed by God the Holy Spirit. It is a mystery, it cannot be explained. If the Lord told his disciples to “do this in remembrance of me”, we do it. He said, this is my body and this is my blood. If the Blessed Sacrament wasn’t real, what has Christendom (the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church) been doing for two thousand years? With countless Eucharistic miracles, with the millions of faithful communicants and adorers, there is no doubt that the Blessed Sacrament is the body and blood of Christ.

There is nothing absurd about adoring the Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament upon the altar. What a wonderful experience it is to spend time in the presence of the Lord. I cannot even express the feelings, awe, peace and closeness one experiences in the exposed presence of the Blessed Sacrament. God truly present, right there in front of you. What a gift of love.

There is nothing difficult about the organization of Perpetual Adoration. Once the schedule is in place, the hours flow by with the faithful lovingly making their Holy Hours. Finding replacements is easy with dozens of substitutes to choose from. I’ve never had a problem. At my parish, two or more are scheduled for every hour, and I’m sure the elderly are only on the schedule during the daylight hours.

Adoration of Jesus in the Monstrance upon the altar is a privilege and blessing upon blessing.

Zatarra said...

If the Blessed Sacrament wasn’t real, what has Christendom (the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church) been doing for two thousand years?

What do you think Hindus have been doing more than three thousand years? Do you really think an old belief cannot be wrong?

With countless Eucharistic miracles, with the millions of faithful communicants and adorers, there is no doubt that the Blessed Sacrament is the body and blood of Christ.

There may be no doubt in your mind, but the vast majority of the world simply doesn't agree with you. The number of people who believe something is completely irrelevant. The number of alleged miracles is also irrelevant. What about the alleged miracles in Islam and Hinduism, just to name two? You dismiss their miracle claims no doubt, just like everyone else dismisses yours.

I know what you believe. But from the nonbeliever's perspective, it's absurd that you keep a piece of bread company around the clock.

ROBIN said...

Two billion people are not wrong.

Blest, praised and adored be Jesus Christ, on his throne in heaven and in the most blessed sacrament of the altar. Amen.

Zatarra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zatarra said...

Yes, they can be. Even using your logical fallacy, there are 4+ billion who don't believe in Jesus. You think they're wrong. Your argument is pathetic.

Why do you post prayers on my blog? Do you think it brings more glory to your god to write them here instead of saying them the usual way? You think annoying me makes Jesus smile?

mbiz said...

What I wonder, is how you, the owner of this site, became such a devout atheist? What event made you the way you are now? Where did the backlash away from God come from?

Did you feel like you were indoctrinated at a young age? I feel that's a valid problem with most people who call themselves Catholic, or used to be Catholic.

Coming into the faith on one's own experiences, life journey, reasoning, use of logic and seeking philosophical works is probably the best and only way to come into the Church.

I'm not trying to reconvert you, I can't do that no one can, but I am just curious to peer into your life and how you became the way you are.

Secular Planet said...

@mbiz

You'll find an explanation of my journey from Catholicism to atheism in the second entry on this blog. You can find it with the archives button. If you have further questions, you can ask them in the "Ask the Author" page, which you can also find on the sidebar under "About."