The room was perfectly still and silent. Our teacher said he was going to play something and we should close our eyes. Suddenly we heard an orchestral piece meant to reflect the sounds of a city. We listened as the violins shrieked and the flutes screamed various dissonances. There were sirens at one point, a constant humming, and so on.
The hairs on the back of our necks were standing up by the end and we opened our eyes and glanced around at each other in dismay at the horrific sounds that had just been played. We were bewildered, and we welcomed the silence that followed.
‘Do you realize that this is what you hear every day?’ our teacher asked. ‘All the sounds of buzzing technology in the background, the sounds of traffic, all the sounds around us all the time and we never stop to think about what that does to us. Look at all of you! When I started playing this you were cringing. But we listen to this every day of our lives and we never get away from it. What must that do to us without us even knowing? It’s not healthy.’
When the piece began, we all immediately felt this stress and tension enter the room. But this moment impressed on me something even more important. How are we supposed to see the One who is all but invisible in our world today if we cannot even see those things right under our noses? How much we need to worship God and be fully present in doing so! How much we need silence to be fully present. How much we need adoration.
As a Catholic, I believe that Christ is fully present body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. During mass, we share in communion. We receive Christ in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine. We are transformed into Christ’s hands and feet so we can go out into the world and be Christ to one another. When explaining her song, ‘See you in the Eucharist,’ Danielle Rose said,
Whenever we come before a tabernacle, all of the souls of all people in the body of Christ are present there: all souls that have gone before us that are in heaven, all the saints and the angels, all of us now are present in His body, in the body of Christ, you know? It’s this incredible mystery, and when we go to mass and we receive the Eucharist it’s this incredible mind-boggling thing that not only does Jesus give himself to us in the Eucharist but that we receive each other.
After mass, any extra hosts are put into the tabernacle where people can go and pray before Christ, who is present there. Sometimes, a monstrance is set out on the altar so that people can see the host when we come to praise the God who made us. We call this Eucharistic Adoration.
Usually in adoration, it is silent so we can focus on being fully present. But adoration can take many forms. At home, the high school youth go to adoration every Saturday night from 8-9. 30-50 teens come to pray the rosary together and sing praise and worship music to honor God. Many churches do perpetual adoration: people sign up to pray every week at a given hour, and they tag team so that there is always at least one person praying before Christ in adoration – literally praying without ceasing.
It is Adoration that teaches me the meaning of worshiping fully. It is in silent adoration of our Lord where I learn to be fully present to Christ, to not only speak, but to sit back into the silence and listen as He tugs at my heart. It is where I learn who God is, and so who I am. It teaches me that if I desire to be Christ to others in this world, I must first know God. I must first be filled. I must first pray. I must first worship.
“The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace.” ~ Mother Teresa