SIXTH DAY: Adore! so as to burn with love!
We adore the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. We must really believe in this Real Presence: a presence that is very real and very concrete, because the Lord has become incarnate, and He wants to remain with us. He wants to be with us. And it is a great joy for us to know that He is with us (E056).
Pierre Goursat was a deeply “Eucharistic” man: his life was centered on daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration. He liked to go and pray in places where adoration was perpetual, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Montmartre and in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers on Avenue de Friedland, which was close to his home.
The first household, which was established with Pierre in 1974 in Gentilly, then in 1975 at the Sisters of Reparatory Adoration, helped the sisters to maintain perpetual adoration. Pierre and his brothers took turns at night before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. When Pierre arrived on the Péniche de l’Emmanuel in 1978, where he lived the last years of his life, he spent long hours in adoration. In the evening he would go down to the small oratory at the front of the boat where he sometimes stayed all night in prayer.
Pierre Goursat regretted that many Christians had lost their fervor: The only way to revitalize the Church is through the Love of Christ (E026). He was convinced that the renewal of the Church implied the rediscovery of Eucharistic adoration, which was neglected at that time:
All that is needed is a place where someone is there to love Jesus, and people will immediately come running. Humanity is made to burn. Then you will see the fire spreading. But truly have that love. Adore, adore (E031).
As soon as the first sessions were organized at Paray-le-Monial in 1975, Pierre wanted the joyful celebration of the Eucharist and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to be at the heart of these meetings.
Visitation Sisters have been crowded day and night. A multitude of people, of all generations, have thus found the way of faith and discovered a new face of the Church; many young people have been converted and have responded to the Lord’s call by coming close to Jesus in adoration.
As the Second Vatican Council emphasized, the sacrament of the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the whole Christian life” (Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, n. 11). However, the Eucharistic presence is not limited to the Mass; it is prolonged in Eucharistic adoration. Memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ, the Eucharist is the actualization of the Paschal Mystery and makes truly present that central event of salvation through which “the work of our redemption takes place” (Lumen Gentium, n. 3).
Every Mass makes us contemporaries of the Cross. The Eucharistic body of Christ, offered on the altars, is His body delivered up on the cross. Under the humble species of bread and wine, Christ makes Himself “substantially” present. Each time we receive communion at Mass, we receive as food the “bread of life” (cf. Jn 6:35,48): “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life. … He abides in Me and I in him” (Jn 6:54, 56).
Transformed by this divine life communicated to us, we are clothed with that power of love which enables us to love “to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1) as Christ has loved us (cf. Jn 13:34). In the Eucharist, Jesus gives us the gift of His presence with particular intensity: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of time” (Mt 28:20).
To adore the Blessed Sacrament is to expose ourselves every day to the “real” presence of Jesus. It means, coming back to drink from the source of life and to shine in the sun of justice that shines in the monstrance, bringing healing in its rays (cf. Ml 3:20). Pierre Goursat had great respect for the “Real Presence”: when he entered a church, he knelt or prostrated himself for a long time before the tabernacle. When he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, Pierre radiated the divine presence that dwelt in him: “Our God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29). In His presence we are set ablaze like the “burning bush” where God revealed Himself to Moses (cf. Ex 3:2-3):
We become burning bushes that burn and are not consumed. It is like a burning fire that the Lord wishes to kindle from our poor lives, which together we dedicate to His service, to the growth of His Reign of Love (M 21).
Pierre Goursat often quoted these words of Jesus: “I have come to cast a fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! “(Lk 12:49). He exhorted those close to Him to let themselves be burned by the fire of divine charity in order to spread this fire of love everywhere: The purpose of this adoration is of course to honor the Body and Heart of Christ, but it is above all to ask Him to set us ablaze with Love, to set us on fire with love so that we in turn, can set our brothers and sisters on fire (E026). He frequently repeated: It has to burn!
Evoking what Mother Teresa said to the Missionaries of Charity, Pierre Goursat added: We adore, but then, we do not leave adoration for the brothers and sisters, we continue to adore Jesus in the brothers and sisters (E050). Contemplating Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament for a long time changes the way we look at others:
We come to renew ourselves in adoration, but then we must remain all our life in this love, so that when we see brothers, we remain in His love and we receive them in His love (E043).
Adoration does not turn us in on ourselves, but makes us attentive to the needs and distresses of others :
If we adore, we place ourselves entirely in the arms of Jesus and we ask Him to open our hearts. We burn with love and we radiate. And since we burn with love, whether we are in prayer or with the sick, we are always burning with love, we see Jesus everywhere (E024).
Pierre explained that adoration is the source of compassion: In adoration, Jesus wants to give us the compassion of His Heart, the sweetness of His Heart (M21). By remaining close to Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament, we unite ourselves to the suffering Christ and we have compassion for all those who today suffer physically, morally, or spiritually :
Worshipping the Lord makes us sympathize with all the sufferings of the world, makes us understand all physical suffering, but also invites us to pray for the conversion of sinners (W082).
Eucharistic adoration opens our hearts to God’s infinite love for humanity and disposes us to love, comfort and help them in a concrete way, so that through us this love may be spread throughout the world :
In prayer and adoration, we are truly clothed with the strength of the Lord, but it must also lead to the service of our brothers and sisters (E024).