Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
Father Peter Grover, director of Boston’s St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, offers an easy-to-grasp explanation of why people might choose to commit to be present for one hour of Eucharistic adoration at a specific time each week at the shrine.
“To get anything done these days, you have to make an appointment, so let’s make an appointment with God,’’ said the Rev. Peter Grover, the shrine director. “You can get cigarettes 24/7, you can buy milk, and you can’t have a church open?’’
That’s what Father Grover told The Boston Globe, in this article the newspaper published Aug. 10 about the return of perpetual adoration to the city of Boston for the first time in decades.
But while the institution of perpetual adoration at the St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine is a milestone for the city itself, there’s already been a resurgence in perpetual adoration in the suburbs of Boston, as in many other places across the United States. And perhaps surprisingly, the Globe article about the opening of the new shrine is mostly positive and gives little space to those who criticize adoration as an outdated form of worship that detracts from Mass or as a practice that might be intimidating to those who don’t want to join in.
Catholics who participate in Eucharistic adoration already know these complaints are entirely without merit. And like Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, Father Grover, U.S. bishops’ conference spokeswoman Sister Mary Ann Walsh and the several lay Catholics who were all interviewed by the Globe for its article, they know that special graces are made available to those who spend time regularly in the physical presence of the body of Christ.
As one of these interviewees told the Globe,
“God is everywhere, but there is a difference when you are physically in the presence of God,’’ said Tim Van Damm, a 31-year-old Somerville resident who is spearheading the effort to launch perpetual adoration at St. Clement. “Any time you come in contact with Christ, you are changed.”
I would be doing Daily Blog readers a grave disservice if I didn’t remind them that the Register’s senior editor, Dave Pearson, published an outstanding book several years ago on this topic. It features the stories of nine people whose lives were transformed by their devotion to Eucharistic adoration.
Go here for more information about Dave’s book, No Wonder They Call It the Real Presence: Lives Changed by Christ in Eucharistic Adoration.