I recently told a group of people that I'm 45, a cradle Catholic who went to weekly to Sunday Mass, and had never heard of 40 Hours Devotion until I found Assumption Grotto just over two years ago.
I'll add to this. I had never heard of Adoration, nor Benediction either.
I encourage you to read a few things on 40 Hours to learn about this very rarely seen devotion. Sometimes I think Grotto-goers take for granted the treasure that we have with our pastor offering this to us. A reader of this blog sent me an email about 40 hours devotion and it was very humbling.
It can be difficult for some, as we are somewhat a commuter parish. But wouldn't it be "something beautiful for God", as Mother Teresa would say, if there was a resounding turn-out for 40 Hours, as there was for "Palla Eius"? What more fitting way to personally love, thank and glorify God for all of our 175 years, and especially for Our Dear Mother and Patroness, for all our Jubilee blessings? Maybe your readers will forward your posting and spread the word. St. Francis said that peace on earth must "begin with me."For those who don't know, we estimate over 600 people crammed into the gym for the final showing of Palla Eius (scroll down), with some having come more than once. This was a wonderful show of support for the parish young people, while at the same time gaining some really great entertainment in return.
However, as our pastor, Fr. Perrone, has taught us in catechism, from the pulpit, and in other talks: We should come to Mass and to adoration not for what we get, but for what we give to God. This means, that we show up to give God "support", but we don't look for anything in return. We don't worry about making it at the most convenient time because if we look at the life of Christ and imitate it, we should be inconveniencing ourselves for him as he did for us.
It could be that we have had so many things going on, so many volunteer tasks, so many things with the kids and school, so many things with work, and the reasons go on and on. If we inconvenience ourselves and offer that up as a sacrifice, how much more treasured is the time we spend with God.
It takes spending just one or two hours less on the internet Friday if you can get there before 6:30. It takes missing half of a football game on Saturday afternoon. It may mean that you'll need to run an extra load of laundry during the week instead of on Saturday.
If you appreciate all that Grotto gives you, come to 40 Hours Devotion with your family and give thanks to God. It's not only the greatest gift you can give to God - your time without looking for anything in return, it's probably one of the greatest ways you can reward our pastor and priests. They see the fruits of their labor when people, especially young people, take time out of their day for such things. But, do it first for pure love of God.
If you care for the unborn and for those who counsel troubled mothers, come and petition the Lord to spare the precious infants.
If you care for priests like Fr. Francis Mary who have taken leave, come and pray for our priests.
I can tell you that the times closest to a Mass or Confession have the most people. The times where we need people to sacrifice are in between, such as around 10:00-2:00 on Saturday, or around commute times on Friday.
The closing ceremony will take place Sunday at 3:00. Fr. Perrone will have the choir sing the Noon Mass and last I heard the Tridentine will be at Noon instead of 9:30 unless he - "the worship committee" changed it after it was last discussed.
If you come to Noon mass, then there is time to grab a hamburger after Mass, go back to adoration until 3:00 at which time the closing ceremony will take place, then join us for pot-luck dinner in the gym.
Watch this video that Fr. Antoine Thomas has made on adoration for children called, Children of Hope. He is probably one of the most influential priests on adoration for the young that I have seen and his message is equally as profound for adults (we are suppose to be like children, no?)
40 Hours Devotion (part 1) - Fr. William Saunders
40 Hours Devotion (part 2) - Fr. William Saunders
40 Hours with Jesus Christ by Fr. William Saunders
40 Hours Devotion (Catholic Encyclopedia)
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