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Do you know what it is to adore God? Pope says we must learn, because that’s what we’ll do in heaven


George Martell/Pilot Media CC

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 02/05/18

To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the "nothingness of the creature" who would not exist but for God.

Pope Francis today told priests that they must teach the faithful how to adore God. “Many times, I think, that we do not teach our people this,” he reflected.

The pope spoke about adoration during his homily at the Casa Santa Marta, where he lives. “We know how to teach [our people] how to pray, sing, and praise God … but to adore?”

The pope defined adoration as the prayer “which annihilates us without annihilating us.” He took the opportunity of encouraging the newly installed pastors, present in the Casa Santa Marta chapel, to “teach the people to adore in silence.”

It is, he said, something we should learn now, since the “prayer of adoration” is what we will do in heaven.

“But we can only arrive to this with the memory of having been chosen, having within our hearts a promise that urges us to go up, with the covenant in our hands and in our hearts,” he said, in reference to the First Reading which recounts bringing up the Ark of the Covenant. “Always moving forward, on a difficult path, an uphill path, but moving forward toward adoration.”

Pope Francis suggested that it would be good for us today, “to dedicate a little time to adoration, with the memory of our journey, the memory of graces we’ve received, the memory of being chosen, of the promise, of the covenant, and try to go up, toward adoration, and in the midst of adoration, with so much humility, to say just this little prayer: ‘Listen and forgive.'”

This prayer anticipates tomorrow’s reading, when Solomon makes this prayer, “Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines adoration within its explanation of the First Commandment:

2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love. “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,” says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy. 2097 To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the “nothingness of the creature” who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name. The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.

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