Benedict XVI: “Eucharistic springtime” – WDTPRS POLL

In my native place springtime comes in a little at a time, one step forward, two steps back and eventually two steps forward one step back.

Yesterday His Holiness Pope Benedict said at his Wednesday General Audience during which he focused on St. Juliana of Cornillon, known also as St. Juliana of Liege:


I would like to affirm with joy that today in the Church there is a “Eucharistic springtime”: How many persons pause silently before the Tabernacle to spend time in a conversation of love with Jesus! It is consoling to know that not a few groups of young people have rediscovered the beauty of praying in adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament. I am thinking, for example, of our Eucharistic adoration in Hyde Park, in London.

I pray so that this Eucharistic “springtime” will spread increasingly in every parish, in particular in Belgium, [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] the homeland of St. Juliana. The Venerable John Paul II, in the encyclical “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” said: “In many places, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also an important daily practice and becomes an inexhaustible source of holiness. The devout participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic procession on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is a grace from the Lord which yearly brings joy to those who take part in it. Other positive signs of Eucharistic faith and love might also be mentioned” (No. 10).

Remembering St. Juliana of Cornillon we also renew our faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. As we are taught by the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in a unique and incomparable way. He is present in a true, real and substantial way, with his Body and his Blood, with his Soul and his Divinity. In the Eucharist, therefore, there is present in a sacramental way, that is, under the Eucharistic species of bread and wine, Christ whole and entire, God and Man” (No. 282).

Dear friends, [not mention Richard McBrien…] fidelity to the encounter with the Eucharistic Christ in Sunday’s Holy Mass is essential for the journey of faith, but let us try as well to frequently go to visit the Lord present in the Tabernacle! Gazing in adoration at the consecrated Host, we discover the gift of the love of God, we discover the passion and the cross of Jesus, and also his Resurrection. Precisely through our gazing in adoration, the Lord draws us to himself, into his mystery, to transform us as he transforms the bread and wine. The saints always found strength, consolation and joy in the Eucharistic encounter. With the words of the Eucharistic hymn “Adoro te devote,” let us repeat before the Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament: “Make me believe ever more in You, that in You I may have hope, that I may love You!” Thank you.

The Holy Father is surely right that there is a slow resurgence of Eucharistic Adoration.  It is slow, but sure.  If we think about how springtime comes in, say, far northern climes, perhaps there is a springtime.

I think the days of hearing aging hippies burble inanities such as “Jesus said ‘Take and eat’, not ‘Sit and look’!” are pretty much a thing of the past.

That said, where there is Eucharistic Adoration, there are usually also many blessings.  I think in particular about vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Another thing that occurs as I write is the old adage: naming calls.  It seems at times, doesn’t it, that when you name a thing or person, it shows up or occurs.  If the Holy Father is talking about a “springtime”, that is because he wants there to be one.  He is not naive, of course.  A great deal must be done yet before most places experience this.

Also, note that again the Holy Father relates our Catholic identity back to the Eucharist, by which he means both the Sacrament itself and Its celebration, Holy Mass.

Let’s have a WDTPRS poll.   Chose the answer you think best describes your thoughts and give your reasons in the combox, below.

Pope Benedict says there is a "Eucharistic springtime". I say...

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  1. jaykay says:

    Ahhhh… the true “New Springtime” of Vatican II i.e. the correct implementation of what the Council actually desired. And not, of course, what the polyester brigade hoped for at all! Think of all the grinding of (false) teeth as they rage, rage, rage at the dying of their light. Unfortunately not so many of them will take the hint and go gently into the night.

    Adoration has been reestablished in my parish after many years of desolation. There’s now an adoration chapel in one of the churches, from after morning Mass to the evening (not a Blessed Sacrament chapel, as the tabernacle is still there in pride of place). I can’t testify to the presence of young people, as I’m away during the day, but it’s now in its third year so it has become a fixture. It all started from an all-night adoration in the main church in Lent 2007 when the parochial clergy were amazed at the turnout, because they really felt they were taking a chance and that numbers would be few. But they led the way, all 5 of them, taking hourly turns in rota all through the night and this example was very favourably commented on. And it has borne fruit in the establishment of the adoration. Floreat.

  2. In my parish, we have Adoration every Thursday after Mass that is at 9 am when everybody is at work and only old people can go. I feel such need to go but I can’t. Even so, it’s better then nothing. That little number of people that can go adore Him for the ones that can’t go.
    I wish it was earlier in the mourning.

  3. ALL: Notice that the Holy Father did not say “Vatican II springtime”.

  4. Kerry says:

    Note that seminaries are filled with future priests, and vast buildingprojects are planned, and underway, by et the Desert Sisters et the Mystic Monks. Minnesota, courtesy the list at The Real, has 154 Adoration sites listed, 44 of which are perpetual. That vast metropolitan titan, Sleepy Eye, MN, population @3500, has perpetual adoration. (By the way, from this website,, we read, “The new Gothic-style church was completed in the summer of 1902. Its two lofty steeples are 170 feet high, while the roof line is 100 feet above ground level….” There are pictures of the church. ) Just imagine were there some catastrophe unfolding, say a global financial garment stripping…would people be driven away from or into the True Faith…?

  5. Craigmaddie says:

    No, not in Scotland. In the Glasgow Archdiocese one of the ecclesial “big cheeses” has been known to desparagingly refer to Eucharistic Adoration as “bread watching” so that’s the kind of milieu we have here.

  6. Philangelus says:

    A nearby parish offers two hours of Confession every Saturday (and there’s always a line, plus two priests) with Adoration going on at the same time. You can Adore while waiting for Confession, and if the line is long enough you can pray the rosary while waiting, and then your penance generally involves kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament for a little while. It’s a wonderful setup.

    My local parish does nothing. Nothing other than Mass. It’s sad. I’d like to start springtime here myself but I don’t know if I could.

  7. There doesn’t have to be a special chapel (though it’s handy). Whenever the church is open and the tabernacle has Jesus, folks can adore. Try staying after Mass. Maybe talk some other people to stay after Mass also.

    Talk to your pastor — he might not be in opposition, just not taking initiative. Maybe he thinks none of his parishioners are interested, when really lots of you might be. Talk to the church ladies. Talk to the parish secretary (power!). You’d be surprised how Adoration cuts across religious “political” lines.

  8. Craigmaddie says:

    If the Holy Father is talking about a “springtime”, that is because he wants there to be one.

    At the risk at sounding pessimistic, this reminds me of the – sometimes naive – optimism of the late Holy Father where he would describe a state of afairs that was more wish than reality. Lest anyone think I am being disobedient in making this statement, I would say that every Catholic has the right to agree or disagree with a non-magisterial statement of a pope about the world. A description cannot have the force of a dogmatic statement – yet many thought that it did in the case of John Paul II. The reference to a “Eucharistic Springtime” sounds very different from the person speaking realistically in The Ratzinger Report or even in the first two years of his pontificate.

    It may be also that the Holy Father is presented with a series of ecclesial ‘Potemkin’s villages’: he visits a country where the bishops fall over themselves to profess hemselves true and loyal sons of the Church. Once the Holy Father flies back to Rome the bishops relax and the grim reality of dissent and liturgical irreverence reasserts itself and nothing, ultimately, has changed.

    I realise that others – especially in the US where there are many good, younger bishops – may hev different thoughts on the matter. In Scotland it is still very much winter.

  9. demigh says:

    Happily, I am one of the round-the-clock adorers at my parish. We sign up for an hour per week, and have a separate Adoration Chapel. I’ve been doing this for several years upon reverting back to the faith after a 30-plus years absence. I can’t describe what a blessing this has been for me–I just don’t have the words. In addition to the many graces we receive individually and because of a repeated request that we pray for our priest and parish, we have a vibrant, strong and growing parish. I love my parish and wish everyone were as fortunate as we!

  10. pattif says:

    When the Year of the Eucharist was opened by the sainted Pope John Paul in October 2004, the pastoral letter that was finally issued in my diocese the following January contained no reference to Eucharistic Adoration. Nevertheless, the closing event here was Quarant’Ore in the Cathedral; this has continued as an annual celebration, so I think it is fair to say something shifted.

    I don’t think this affirmation of a “Eucharistic springtime” by Pope Benedict is an example of Papal wishful thinking, although there may well be an element of leadership by encouragement about it. I voted for the first option, principally because the experience of being amongst 80,000 completely silent people in Adoration with the Holy Father in Hyde Park is one that will stay with me forever. You could have heard a pin drop on the damp grass, and when you consider that the overwhelming majority of those present were young people, who might be thought not to have had much experience of silent Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, there seemed to be an element of the miraculous about it.

    I think part of the reason for it was the Holy Father’s extraordinary ability to radiate stillness (I have seen him bring a screaming, cheering, singing throng, packed tightly into the cortile at Castel Gandolfo, to total silence simply by lowering his hand onto the lectern), but it seems from his words that he was affected by the Hyde Park experience too.

    I think Pope John Paul blew on the embers of what appeared to be a dying devotion and that Pope Benedict is now fanning the flames: another example of two sides of the same coin (to mex the mitaphor).

  11. My diocese still writhes under the iron grip of the liberals, and nowhere more than in the city where the cathedral stands. Yet the most schizophrenic parish in the diocese has adoration every Tuesday morning to Wednesday evening; and there are no less than three parishes within 20 miles of where I live that have perpetual adoration.

  12. ghp95134 says:

    I have been Catholic for only five years and have attended but two churches: one a very orthodox N.O. church & the other a Traditional Latin Mass church; therefore, I cannot make an accurate climate comparrison. However… I would venture to say that since HH Benedict XVI was elected, Spring-like microclimates are evident — more-and-more evident; “Springtime” might be arriving slowly … but one cannot fail to notice the change in the weather.

    The N.O. church I attend has offered honest-to-goodness 24/7/365 perpetual Adoration for over 30 years; I have seen another church bulletin advertisement that made me smile wryly: “perpetual adoration every Thursday.” I think we’re the only church in the diocese offering real “perpetual” Adoration.

    –Guy Power

  13. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    Anita Moore: I’m not surprised at the seeming contradiction of the presence in a parish of extreme liberalism and Eucharistic adoration. I think the rise in Eucharistic adoration (take heed Fr. McBrien) is the expression of the longing of people for reverence in worship. If the Mass celebrated at a parish is centered on the congregation, then the natural longing of the people to worship Christ will make itself manifest in Eucharistic adoration.

  14. Flambeaux says:

    I’ve finally concluded that I have no idea what all these declarations of “springtime” from either JP2 or B16 actually mean. I give up.

  15. Martial Artist says:

    I see the “springtime” in the election of Archbishop Dolan to the Presidency of the USCCB, and in other faithful Bishops who speak the truth in love, honestly and openly, and in the growing parish to which I belong, and to its dedicated and devoted priests, and in the Holy Father’s leadership in moving us toward an openly and honestly Catholic identity. Both JPII and BXVI have been gifts to the Church, and both have contributed to this springtime. I only pray that our efforts may further its continuation.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  16. EoinOBolguidhir, there is definitely something to that. I think it is also Jesus personally intervening in places where His flocks are most neglected and abused.

  17. irishgirl says:

    I voted for Number 1 in the poll.
    We have a Perpetual Adoration Chapel in one of the oldest parishes of my hometown. It’s been in existence since 1992. I’m a ‘charter member’ of the chapel. It’s a spiritual oasis in the wilderness that is the upstate part of New York.

  18. Alice says:

    Adoration seems to be becoming more common. Where I live, one parish has Perpetual Adoration (which attracts adorers from the other parishes) and the other parishes do Holy Hours on various occasions and for various needs. Adoration seems to appeal to people of all ages, including but not limited to young adults.

  19. Sam Urfer says:

    When Alan Vigneron came to Oakland as bishop, there were a small handful of parishes offering adoration. After he left, most do. This schedule, which is a couple years old now but still more or less accurate, lists about 58 parishes, including all 4 in my city:

    Spring arrives slowly, but surely.

  20. Sam Urfer says:

    Indeed, I know that one or two parishes not on that list now offer adoration.

  21. GirlCanChant says:

    When I lived in the suburbs, two of the local parishes had adoration chapels (that I knew of) that were open for at least most of the week. One of my former parishes had perpetual adoration. Now that I am living in the city, the only parish that I know has adoration ends it at 5 PM, which doesn’t really help those who work. I miss being able to adore on a regular basis.

    I used to attend Mass at the Newman Center of the University of Pennsylvania. We had a weekly Holy Hour that was attended by maybe 15-30 young people. It was wonderful to see. I definitely think adoration is on the rise. Richard McBrien could not be more wrong.

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