Many parishes around the world offer Eucharistic adoration, at time when the Eucharist is exposed in the monstrance and the faithful are invited to adore and pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Some parishes even have perpetual adoration, where the Eucharist is exposed 24 hours a day and parishioners volunteer to keep watch with Jesus day and night.
More and more, these churches and adoration chapels are being filled with Millennials and members of Gen Z. In a world where there is so much vying for the attention of young people, what is it about Eucharistic adoration that is causing young people to embrace it?
Tommy Tighe, the Catholic Hipster and host of Repent and Submit on CatholicTV, stopped by Morning Air® to share why, even as a busy husband and father, he sacrifices sleep to go to adoration every day.
“The adoration chapel is a break from this world,” he told host John Harper. “The world is getting louder and louder and noisier and noisier, and everything is just so in our face. And there’s really nowhere to escape. I come home and I still get work e-mails dinging at home. You’re at work and you’re constantly having to respond to things in a digital way.”
“So in the adoration chapel it’s so great because there is none of that. It’s silent, it’s peaceful, and it’s a moment of reflection that you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Not to mention you’re sitting before God in the Eucharist. That is the mind-blowing aspect of it.”
As people who have grown up in the digital age, with the world just one tap away, having a space to be silent and connect with the Lord can be a great gift to young people. In a world where silence can be scary, the adoration chapel is a place where they can practice just being with the Lord in silence.
Tommy explained, “I’ve caught myself before in adoration talking too much in my head. Saying, ‘I need you to show me the way, I need you to show me what to do, what do I do with this, what do I do with that.’ And I fell back into this quote from St. John Vianney, that I think he heard from one of his parishioners. When they were asked what they did in the adoration chapel they said, ‘I just look at Him, and He looks at me. And that’s it.'”
“That was such a great awakening for me, to just go in and experience that,” he said. “There’s nothing more that needs to be said or done. I do go through other prayers and different things that I do now as part of a routine, but that slowing down of just looking at Him and Him looking at me, it’s a peace like nowhere else.”
Not only are Millennials and members of Gen Z taking up the practice of adoration, but as they are raising their own children they are intentional about passing on this practice to the next generation. Tommy shared why he takes his young boys to adoration with him, and the difference that it makes for their family.
“We’ll go to the playground to play and then we’ll swing by the adoration chapel, because we’re blessed enough to have a perpetual adoration chapel at our parish,” Tommy said. “Just being in that Presence makes a difference.”
“I think one thing that is so important for my kids is that I want to show them that all this stuff that we do is real and it is meaningful,” he explained. “We go to Confession because it makes a huge difference. It’s the difference between heaven and hell, literally. We go to adoration because Jesus is really there, and you can’t get that anywhere else on earth, outside of Holy Mass. To put these things in the middle of the week really frames that these things are not just a thing we do on Sunday. It’s not just our culture, that we’re culturally Catholic. But it’s really a starting point for everything we do every single day.”
Listen to the full conversation with Tommy Tighe below: