Friday, February 16, 2007

Mass vs. Private Adoration

I've been thinking about a question that has intrigued me in the past. If Mass is the most wonderful event to ever take part in, if it is indeed truly a re-presentation of Calvary, if going to one Mass is so incredibly valuable, then why spend time in private adoration before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, unless it's impossible to go to Mass?

Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament has become a very important part of my life, whether before Jesus exposed or in the tabernacle. There is something very wonderful about it, something very personal. Going to Mass is great as well, and indeed is much greater than simple private adoration; however, I do believe private adoration is vital and this is why.

Mass and private adoration have two distinct characters. Mass is a communal worship, whereas private adoration is, well, private. If you see the Christian life as a relationship, which indeed it is, then you will understand why these two aspects to the Christian life are important.

Jesus is the bridegroom, and the Church is the bride. The Church as a whole, not everyone individually. So, it makes wonderful sense that Jesus will truly change us in an act which is universal and communal. We come to Jesus in the Mass, the worship of the Church, which is the same everywhere, which is in reality the same event everywhere, that which took place 2000 years ago. However, we also know that Jesus wants to relate to us each individually.

This is where private adoration comes in. In adoration before Jesus, we meditate on Him; we allow ourselves to be changed by Him, in a way that is different than in the Mass, in a deeply personal way.

The Mass is the central aspect of our relationship with Jesus, and private adoration will bring us to a deeper appreciation of the Mass. The Mass is a beautiful painting, and the private adoration of each individual is the frame of that painting. The frame is nothing without the masterpiece in the center. However, the painting is missing something if the frame is not up to par.

So in conclusion, I must say that if Mass were celebrated 24/7 right across the street. I would not go to Mass every time I wanted to worship my Lord. I think it is much wiser, and much more beneficial to our spiritual lives to take that time in adoration before Him, even if we can get to Mass whenever we choose. Anyway, this is my understanding of the relationship between the Mass and the private adoration of individuals.


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