I THE LORD AM WITH YOU ALWAYS:
Prayers and Meditations for Eucharistic Adoration
Compiled by Christine McCarthy
(Second Edition, 2003. Available for $12.50 + postage from The Convenor, Society for Eucharistic Adoration, 142 Victoria St, Ashfield, NSW 2131, fax (02) 9797 2273)
The appearance of a new edition of this collection of prayers and meditations for eucharistic adoration will be welcomed in growing circles of Catholics who adore Our Eucharistic Lord. Since it first appeared in 1999, this lovingly crafted compilation by Christine McCarthy (Convenor of the Society for Eucharistic Adoration) has spread beyond Australia. Readers already familiar with this useful book may wonder what is new in the second edition.
What stands out first of all is the extensive use of the Holy Father's recent gift to the Church, Ecclesia de Eucharistia. Mrs McCarthy has skilfully selected appropriate sections that call us to pray before the monstrance and tabernacle, adoration Pope John Paul II wants to see everywhere.
There is a sixth chapter for children, useful for those making their First Communion and Confirmation. This raises the need for parents, teachers, catechists and clergy to explain and promote Eucharistic Adoration among children. Adoration is included in the Melbourne-Sydney religious education texts, To Know, Worship and Love. In France an extensive network is promoting adoration among children, skilfully adapted to cultivate their awareness of the Real Presence.
Apart from a reordering of the second chapter of eucharistic hymns, some translations of little-known poems by St Thérèse of Lisieux have been added to this edition, Their style reflects the piety of her times, and the attempt to make the verses rhyme in English is unfortunate, but the poems give us an insight into the eucharistic focus of the interior life of St Thérèse. This central dimension of her daily life as a religious is sometimes lost in studies of her spirituality. Her awareness of the liturgy is particularly interesting, focussed around signs and symbols.
Some delightful reflections by St Josemaria Escriva have been taken from Christ Is Passing By (pp. 30, 50). His eucharistic writing speaks to us "directly", where we are in our daily lives, so characteristic of the energetic founder of Opus Dei.
Once again I am pleased to be able to commend I the Lord Am With You Always. This book should be available in every parish.
Msgr Peter J. Elliott is the Episcopal Vicar for Religious Education in the Melbourne Archdiocese.