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Mother Teresa on Come, Let us Bow Down
The following passages are taken from the book, “A Life for God,” compiled by LaVonne Neff and published in 1995.
Every evening when the Missionaries of Charity return from their work, they gather in their chapel for an unbroken hour of adoration. In the stillness of dusk, they find peace in Christ’s presence. Focusing on Jesus alone, they pray in confidence that he is listening, and they grow in their love for God and for each other.
Adoration (sometimes called Benediction, or “blessing”) is a quiet, personal time of intimacy with Jesus in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the bread broken for us.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
Let us kneel before the Lord who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherd
the flock he guides.
1. After the sisters have finished their day—--carrying out their service of love in the company of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, and through Jesus—--we have an hour of prayer and of Eucharistic adoration. Throughout the day we have been in contact with Jesus through his image of sorrow in the poor and lepers. When the day ends, we come in contact with him again in the tabernacle by means of prayer. . (187)
2. The tabernacle is the guarantee that Jesus has set his tent among us.
Every day we sisters have the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. This has brought a deep change in our lives: we have discovered a deeper love of Christ through the afflicted face of the poor. We have been able to know each other better and to know the poor better too, as a concrete witness of God.
Since we have started this form of worship, we have not diminished our work. We continue to devote to it as much time as before, but with a better understanding. People now accept us better because they are hungry for God. They feel a need not for us but for Jesus. (188)
3. I remember when Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen told me that from the day he had been ordained a priest, he had never missed an hour of daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Up to 1973 we used to have adoration only once a week. In 1973, during the General Chapter of our congregation, there was a unanimous cry, “We want daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament!”
We have much work to do for the poor. Still we have not had to cut back on our work in order to have that hour of adoration. (Often that is the excuse some people offer for not having adoration every day.)
I can tell you I have seen a great change in our congregation from the day we started having adoration every day. Our love for Jesus is more intimate. Our love for each other is more understanding. Our love for the poor is more compassionate. And we have twice as many vocations.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus go together. We try to have our lives woven with the Eucharist so that we are more united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
More and more young people are coming to our houses for adoration.... Especially in Poland, Yugoslavia, and East Germany, many young people come for adoration. This has changed many, many lives.
In our homes for the dying, we have the Blessed Sacrament. And there is always somebody praying. (188)
4. Truly, the tenderness of God’s love, is most extraordinary. When we look at the cross, we know how much Jesus loved us then. When we look at the tabernacle, we know how much he loves us now.
That’s why you should ask your parish priests to give you the joy of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at least once a week.
Be alone with Jesus.
Then your hearts will feel the joy that only he can give. (189)
5. The hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament every day has fostered a greater tenderness and love in us. We owe it all to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. We cannot be Co-workers or Missionaries of Charity without an intense life of prayer. (189)
6. We must ask for the grace to love one another. As Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). To be capable of doing that, our sisters live a life of prayer and sacrifice. That is why we start our day with prayer, Holy Communion, and meditation. Every evening we also have an hour of worship before the Blessed Sacrament. We have permission from our bishop for this time of adoration before the sacrament. This hour of intimacy with Jesus is something very beautiful. It is the greatest gift that God can give us.
Wherever you find yourself, if you are free and you feel the need for Jesus, we have daily worship from 6:30 to 7:30 P.M. in our homes. You are cordially invited to come. Or if it is more practical, go to your own church. Wherever you find yourself; try to begin doing this. Try to put worship into practice in your life. Be alone with Jesus. You will notice a change in your life, in your family, in your parish, and in your environment.
This is something that we should be concerned about as Co-workers. We need to soak up the tender love of Jesus that our people experience when they sense that God loves them. We need to extend to each and everyone the assurance that God loves them. (189)
7. Permit me to give you some advice: begin with the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as the heart of prayer in your communities. Begin having it weekly, and you will see that soon the young brothers and sisters will ask if you can have it daily. Because as we advance in years, we experience a greater hunger for Jesus. The younger ones will encourage us through their magnificent example of sincere love for Jesus. (189)
8, Yesterday, a sister was telling me about some sisters who go to the prison. They take the Blessed Sacrament, and the prison chaplain has started daily adoration for half an hour. To see those young prisoners, boys and men, adoring. They are preparing some of those boys for First Communion. They’re hungry for God—--they are very hungry for God. (190)
9. Every moment of prayer, especially before our Lord in the tabernacle, is a sure positive gain. The time we spend in having our daily audience with God is the most precious part of the whole day. (190)
10. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that adoration. (190)
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