No consideration of the Eucharist of this type could omit St. Alphonsus de Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorist congregation. He wrote his well-known Visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament in 1745. They immediately inflamed the hearts of men with a love of the Eucharist. No finer work is there to prepare us for the reception of Communion, to help us in the thanksgiving, and to provide prayerful helps for those who visit the Eucharistic God each day.

St. Alphonsus tells of a Spanish Poor Clare who loved to make long visits to the Blessed Sacrament. The other nuns asked what she did during those long silent hours. "I could kneel there forever," she answered. "And why not? God is there. You wonder what I do in the Presence of God. I marvel. I love. I thank. I beg."

Here is the essence of Eucharistic prayer. Here are the four ends of Eucharistic prayer. Under the guidance of St. Alphonsus all of our time spent before the Eucharist can fall into the four categories, 1. adoration 2. thanksgiving 3. reparation and 4. petition. Every time I receive the Eucharist at Mass, this is my thanksgiving–perhaps just a few minutes at the altar adoring the Eucharistic Presence, thanking God for all His graces, telling the Lord of my sorrow for the sins of a lifetime, and begging Him for the graces and favors I need. We can also do this in the Holy Hour with a prolonged period for each segment. I know of no better informal structure or heart-to-heart arrangement for a visit to the Eucharist.

An Audience With Jesus
Msgr. John F. Davis

Reprinted from Witness Ministries, a lay apostolate dedicated to renewing appreciation for the Mass as the greatest gift which God has given to His beloved spouse, the Church. Their mission is to show how, in the Eucharistic Liturgy, Jesus renews and transforms us–and the world–in His life and love.