I remember the first time our Life Teen program had Eucharistic Adoration during a Life Night. Almost all of the teens in the room had not experienced Adoration before. Most of the Core Team wasn’t that familiar with this form of prayer either. All in all, a bunch of newbies. Between our Pastor and myself we did our best to explain (in 5 minutes or less) what Adoration is, what you need to do, and how Jesus is fully and truly present in the Eucharist.
The memories surrounding that Life Night are very vivid. I remember the group of freshman boys snickering because kneeling, praying and being quiet made them uncomfortable. I remember giving looks to kids who were trying to sneak a few text messages in when they though no one was looking. I remember the Core Team trying really hard to make this an awesome prayer experience but being distracted by the clueless looks on most of the kids faces. Most of all, I remember feeling defeated because we were not able to prepare our teens to encounter the living God in Adoration.
Following the Life Night, I was inundated with questions about the use of incense, the lighted candles, the “outfit” the priest was wearing and more. I even had a parent call and ask if I had the kids worshiping idols at Life Night. I remember searching online and through the resources I had in my office for a clear guide to Adoration – one that explained Adoration in plain language and called the reader to a powerful experience of Christ in the Eucharist. Needless to say, I drew a blank on that search.
When I found out we were putting together a teen guide to Adoration, I was elated. And when I read the book, I was prayerfully thankful – it was exactly what I wished I had that night several years ago. We proudly announce the release of Come Adore: A Teen Guide to Adoration. It is the same size as Come Clean (our guide to Reconciliation) with the same straightforward explanations and teen-friendly language.
Whether or not you and your Core Team are “old hats” when it comes to Eucharistic Adoration, not all your teens are. This guide can be used in Life Nights, during conferences and retreats, or simply in conversations with teens. Use it to enhance your own prayer experience. Share it with the parents of teenagers. Use it in sacramental preparation. Share it with your Core Team and parish staff.
While I can’t guarantee that Come Adore will keep a group of freshman boys from squirming during their first Adoration experience, but then again, it just might. It is God who transforms hearts in Adoration; Come Adore simply sets the stage for teens (and adults) to receive His abundant grace.