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  • Sign and Ministry
  • Guillermo Rosas

From the origins of the Sacred Hearts family
adoration has been bothan attitude and a form
of prayer which is constitutive of its
and a form of prayer.
Adoration in our beginnings
The SSCC Constitutions of 1817 say
  • Through perpetual adoration of the Most Blessed
    Sacrament, we strive to retrace the hidden life
    of Jesus Christ by making reparation for the
    injuries done to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and
    Mary by the enormous crimes of sinners.

For the founders
  • The Good Father and the Good Mother, were
    assiduous and faithful adorers,
  • and they included adoration as a principal
    practice in the institute.

They understood it as perpetual
  • In the style of religious life of the time,
    with large communities, it was possible that day
    and night , there was always a sister or a
    brother in adoration. Perpetual
  • adoration was kept in each community.

for Pierre Coudrin, the Good Father
  • From childhood, Pierre was made aware of the
    presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Particularly
    in the granary of
  • La Motte a sense of contemplation developed
    within him.
  • After leaving his hiding place , for almost two
    years he carried the Blessed Sacrament with him
    in a pix hanging around his neck.
  • He was in permanent Adoration. To accompany
    Christ in his Adoration, became an imperative
    for him .

  • That Adoration was apostolic contemplation full
    of concern for the Church and for his community,
    as the moment demanded.
  • Sustained in the Adoration of Jesus, present
    in his community that wanted to be able to carry
    the Gospel everywhere.

for Henriette Aymer, the Good Mother
  • The Foundress began her life of adoration when
    she joined the Association of the Sacred Heart
    in Poitiers.
  • She stated that when the Good Father established
    adoration and set an hour for her , without
    knowing it, he
  • fixed her destiny.
  • Until her death she was faithful to adoration.

for the founding community
  • Adoration was an essential part of the call and
    mission of all the brothers and sisters.
  • The incipient Congregation had in its title
  • and of the perpetual adoration of the Blessed
    Sacrament of the Altar.

  • In the historical situation in which the founders
    lived, a time of much violence and confusion,
    the reparative character of adoration was
    especially emphasized,
  • Understood as reparation for the sins, within
    and through the practice of the adoration.

  • This is why the adoration has been also called
  • reparative adoration.
  • (Later on we will see how the reparative
    character is understood today in a different way
    as in that time)

In short For the community of the founders, the
Eucharistic adoration was a sign and a
ministry Sign of the interior disposition of
the adoration of each brother and sister, and
Ministry of intercession for the world, the
Church and the community. And so we want to
continue living today our adoration
The adoration today
After a period during which adoration was
questioned and even abandoned by some members of
the Congregation, today we see it as having
lasting value, something essential to the call
of the Spirit to this religious family, part of
being Sacred Hearts.
How do we understand adoration today?
  • To adore is to pray in continuity and in the
  • of the Eucharist,
  • Submerging ourselves in the paschal mystery
  • of Jesus Christ dead, resurrected and glorious,
    interceding for the world,
  • for the poor and suffering.
  • Adoration is, therefore, a
  • specific form of prayer

A prayer
  • Eucharistic
  • Reparative
  • Contemplative
  • Perpetual

It is, above all, Eucharistic adoration.
  • Its essential point
  • of reference is the
  • celebration of the Eucharist
  • we adore
  • from it
  • and towards it

As our Founders, we find in the Eucharist the
source and the summit of our apostolic and
communal life. (Const.I.5)The Eucharist, as in
fact the Council Vatican II says, is the source
of which flows the strength of the Church, and
the summit towards which all her life tends
  • Adoration fills the way between the source
  • and the summit.

  • Without the Eucharist adoration has no meaning,
    or to put it positively, adoration only has
    meaning in reference to the celebration. This is
    why we say adoration is the
  • prolongation of the Eucharist.

It is reparative adoration
  • but understood in a different way that in the
  • The reparative character of adoration is not
    seen now as only at the moment of adoration but
    as an essential aspect of the following of Jesus.

  • We are repairers because we live our faith
    within the dynamism of the saving love of
    Christ , which liberates
  • and transforms.
  • Our commitment and
  • apostolate make present the kingdom of God,
    overcoming of sin and bringing new life for all,
    particularly for the poor and suffering.

  • To repair is to restore and transform the
    world wounded by personal sin and the
    structures of sin, entering into the suffering of
    Christ who continues suffering in many brothers
    and sisters. We repair by our whole life, and
    therefore also in adoration.

  • If our adoration is not inserted in that
    dynamism of the saving love (Const.I.2), it is
    risked to be a mere formal practice, a
    individualist rite or, at best, a prayer without
    proper identity performed before the Tabernacle.

It is contemplative adoration it demands
silence within and without.
  • More than in other types of prayer, at adoration
    music, song, readings and symbols are only means
    to help us enter into that silence in which we
    can touch and savour the mystery.

  • Adoration is the favourable time and space to
    make our own the attitudes, options and tasks
    that led Jesus to the point of having his heart
    transpierced on the Cross.
  • (Const.I,3).
  • It is the moment whenaware of the power of evil
    that opposes the Father's love and disfigures
    his design for the world, we can identify
    ourselves with the attitude of Jesus and with his
    reparative work.(Const.I,4).

It is perpetual adoration it involves each
moment of our life.
  • The movement of the Holy Spirit in religious life
    opens us to a different understanding of
    perpetuity. It is not just about time, but
    something more spiritual. It is an attitude,
    not just a mere activity.

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Whether it is reserved in the Tabernacle .
exposed in a monstrance
or simply onthe paten,
the host, the consecrated bread, is like Jesus
in the manger
In the extreme simplicity of the apparent there
is revealed to the one who believes the
immensity of God, the paschal mystery, made real
in the Eucharistic celebration and present in the

Our adoration isan Attitude
Interior attitude
  • The attitude of adoration, an interior
    attitude, an attitude of life or disposition of
    the heart, is an aspect of our charism that is
    experienced beyond the limits of our practice of
    the adoration. As anything of value, it fills the
    totality of our existence and our vocation. To
    adore is to submit the heart to God.

of spiritual docility
  • Submit the heart to God
  • as the attitude of Mary in the Annunciation,
    as that of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, as
    that of Damien when he decided to stay for ever
    in Molokai.
  • to recognise that God is the Lord of our life
    and of our history

of contemplation
  • The attitude of adoration is a contemplative
    attitude towards the world, history, and the
    liberating presence of God in ones life and in
    the world. It is seeing with faith, with trust in
    the power of the Gospel.
  • Contemplative is not passive or indifferent. Like
    Mary when she kept all within her

of adoration of the Father
  • Besides adoration of the glorious Jesus, light
    that illumines the darkness ,
  • we adore the Father
  • Merciful Father.
  • Provident Father.
  • Father close to us in his Son. Father of all.

with the feelings of Christ
  • Adoration makes us, more than anything else in
    our life, enter in the feelings of Christ,
  • as our Constitutions say.
  • We adore the Father with Jesus,
  • that means, from his merciful and compassionate
    Heart, as the Father is , sensitive to the
    suffering of the world, attentive to the poor and
    suffering, open and generous.

performed as a ministry
  • The Constitutions of the sisters say that we
    recognize ourselves as delegates of the Church.
    This is part of the attitude of adoration. It is
    a mission entrusted by the Church, a true
    ministry for which we consider ourselves
    responsible in a free and joyful way our
    adoration is the Churchs adoration, for the

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And our adoration is also a form of prayer
Is prayer
  • Adoration is prayer. It is prayer as the
    prayer of Jesus, who loves the Father and
    intercedes for the poor and those who suffer.
  • It is prayer as the prayer of Mary, who kept in
    her heart the mysterious designs of God for her
    life and for history, who persevered silently at
    the foot of the cross, full of hope, Mary who is
    with the community on Pentecost.

is sign
  • A personal and communal sign. Sign of a Church
    that believes in the presence of the Resurrected
    Lord in the heart of the world and history.
    Exterior sign of our interior disposition.

is practice
  • Adoration, as an act or a practice of prayer,
    is not spontaneous, but requires that we create a
    habit and seek exterior forms adequate to
    express the interior attitude that motivates it.

  • It can take very diverse forms. The most
    characteristic is that it is that of prayer,
    personal or communitarian, in the presence of the
    Blessed Sacrament in many traditions kneeling (at
    least part of the time of the adoration), and in
  • Communal adoration usually integrates elements
    such as reflection, readings, songs, prayers and
    benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.

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What documents and people say about adoration .
SS.CC., Constitutions I.5(Common chapter for
brothers and sisters)
  • The Eucharistic celebration and contemplative
    adoration make us participate in the attitudes
    and sentiments of Jesus before the Father and
    before the world

SS.CC., Constitutions I.4(Common chapterfor
brothers and sisters)
  • Aware of the power of evil that opposes the
    Fathers love and disfigures his design for the
    world, we wish to identify with the attitude of
    Jesus and with His reparative work. Our
    reparation is communion with Him, whose food is
    to do the Fathers will and whose work is to
    reunite by his blood the dispersed children of

  • Our reparation makes us participate in the
    mission of the Risen Christ, who sends us to
    announce the Good News of salvation. At the same
    time, we recognize our sinfulness, and we feel
    ourselves to be in solidarity with the men and
    women who are victims of injustice, hatred, and
    sin in the world.
  • Finally, our reparative vocation encourages us to
    collaborate with all those who, led by the
    Spirit, work to build a world of justice and
    love, sign of the Kingdom.

Sisters Constitutions , 43
  • Eucharistic adoration has been since our origins
    one of our main duties and a true ministry that
    involves a personal and communal commitment.
  • At adoration we are delegated by the Church,
    associated with the reparative work of Christ,
    united to his contemplation, to his listening to
    his Father's will and to his prayer of

Brothers Constitutions, 53.3
  • a) We unite ourselves to His incessant
    intercession before the Father, to His cry in
    solidarity with a humanity wounded by sin.
  • b) We are urged to commit ourselves more fully
    to the mission, so that by Him, with Him, and in
    Him our lives and the world liberated from
    evil and sin may give glory to the Father..

Rule of Life, 66
  • Your physical presence before the tabernacle
    stands for something. To be real, it must express
    an inner attitude which is not restricted to your
    time before the Blessed Sacrament, one which
    carries you back to the Lord whenever you are not
    taken up with your work..

From the Way of Life of the SS.CC. Secular
Branch (Sector Chilli), n.8
  • You will take on assiduously and
    fervently Adoration of Jesus in the sacrament. It
    is a beautiful tradition of our Congregation,
    that is meant to place Jesus at the centre of
    our vocation and mission. To adore is to pray in
    continuity with the Eucharist. It is to submerge
    oneself over and over again in Jesus, crucified
    and resurrected, present with us all days, until
    the end of this world.

In adoration, you praise him, thank him,
remember, listen and welcome his Love you take
on the suffering of others to intercede, console,
repair and liberate. You commit yourself to Jesus
and to the work of the Kingdom of God.
Fr. Jean-Yves Kerrien (1992)
  • In the community of the founders, perpetual
    adoration was always a sign and a ministry. A
    sign of the interior disposition of adoration of
    all and a way of remembering the hidden life of
  • in other word, his continuous adoration to the
  • It is also a ministry. The main goal of perpetual
    adoration is to intercede for the world, for the
    Church, and for the Community itself, with
    Christ, before the Father.

Fr. Patrick Bradley, en Communion in
  • Adoration is a gift, a time for contemplation
    alone or in group of Christ, Servant of Yahweh,
    who holds in his heart the destiny of his people.
    To adore is to contemplate the totality of
    Christ at once the Son of God in plenitude, and
    the man committed to the happiness of his
    brothers and sisters, compassionate, just and

Fr. Mario Illanes, (days before his
Passage to the Father, 1995)
  • Let us give attention to adoration, that it
    is what the Congregation can give the Church that
    is most its own.

Karl Rahner s.j., writing about the Heart of
  • The reparation of the sins of the world (ours
    or those of others), must consist primarily and
    essentially in loyal, loving and obedient
    participation, of all that was the life of the
    Lord, in the acceptance of the sings of his
    presence as well the consequences of sin in the
    world sorrow, darkness, persecution, distance
    from God and death.

Charles de Foucauld (1916)
  • When someone loves, he wants to talk all the
    time with the one he loves, or at least to look
    at him. This is prayer nothing other than
    familiar interchange with our very Beloved. You
    look at him, you tell him that you love him, we
    are happy at his feet and we say that there we
    want to live and die.

Saint Teresa of Jesus (of Avila), Discalced
Carmelite of the XVI century
  • Prayer
  • is
  • to be
  • with
  • God,
  • loving him

Guillermo Rosas February 2006