BY Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, SS.CC.
SPIRIT AND REGULATIONS
FOR NIGHT ADORATION
Spirit. Night adoration in the home is made in a spirit of reparation, especially for the sins of pride and sensuality of so many so-called “Christian” families, most of which are committed during the night. Since sins are being committed every hour of the day and night, reparation should also be perpetual. Therefore, night adoration in the home is organized in such a way that at every hour of the night throughout the year, reparation is being made by the sacrifice of an hour of sleep, offered to the Sacred Heart as an act of homage and love during His mystical agony.
Regulations. 1) The night adorer promises to make one hour of adoration once a month during the night. The night begins at 9 p.m. and ends with the hour from 5-6 a.m. Adoration made at any other time is meritorious but is not sufficient to gain the Indulgences.
2) As an act of generosity, night adorers are encouraged to leave the choice of their date and hour of adoration to the Director, but are perfectly free to choose their own date and hour for any reasonable motive. Any date and hour of the month may be selected, either a fixed date, such as the 15th of the month or a movable date such as the First Friday.
3) In order to keep accurate records, and to maintain continuous nights of adoration, deaths and withdrawals of members, as well as changes of address, should be made known to the promoter or to the Center where your name is registered.
4) It is not necessary to renew the enrollment each year. Once enrolled, you continue to be a member until death or voluntary withdrawal.
5) The promise you make does not bind under pain of sin, even venial. Father Mateo started it as an act of loving homage and reparation to the Sacred Heart. Accordingly, its success and duration will depend upon the extent of the faithfulness and generosity of the members. This fidelity will be proved when through sickness or otherwise prevented you make your hour of adoration some other night. It is not necessary to notify the Director of temporary change of date or hour.
Conditions for Membership. 1) To become a member of the League, one’s name should be inscribed at a local Center or at the National Center.
This may be done through a promoter or directly by mail. There is no charge for inscription. A small donation will be welcome to cover cost of membership card, postage, etc.
2) To be a true member of the League, the night adorer should pledge himself to give the example of a true Christian life which does not contradict the spirit of reparation, particularly by conforming to Catholic standards of decency in dress, reading, recreations, language and morals.
Individuals. As stated above, individuals are free to select any date and hour. However, they may try to organize groups of adorers, arranging the hours in such a way that a complete night is filled. This is being done on a wide scale. It is an incentive to the individual to know that his hour of adoration is one of a series that is continuing through the night. Let it be clearly understood. however, that it is not necessary to form a group but that the individual is free to make a separate hour at any time selected. Let the individual adorer “pay the ransom” for his relatives and friends.
Families. In large families the adoration may be arranged in such a way that each member of the family watches in turns before a picture of the Sacred Heart. This is already being done in many families in the United States. If the Sacred Heart has been enthroned in the home, then the adoration should take place before the enthroned image of the Sacred Heart, around which lighted candles and flowers have been placed, whenever this is possible. (This is not essential.) The hours are assigned to each member of the family by the father or mother. If the family is large enough (nine members) then the adoration may begin at 9 and continue to 6; in smaller families, it may begin at 9 and continue until all the members have made their adoration. At the end of each hour the next adorer is called by the preceding one. If it is not practical to make the adoration successively as described above, then the entire family may make it together at one determined hour. Again the father and mother may desire to make it alone or even one member of the family. The family is free to arrange this matter according to circumstances. If the family makes adoration at the same hour, then the father or mother might lead the prayers and the others join in the responses, as is done during the Holy Hour in church. This will make the hour pass quickly and pleasantly, especially for the children. Let one family “pay the ransom” for other families.
Parishes. It should be the goal of those promoting night adoration in the parish to have perpetual adoration. This means that eventually at every hour of the night from 9 to 6, for every night of the month, some member of the parish is making adoration in his own home. To make this possible the immediate aim should be to fill as many nights as possible, using a chart for this purpose, which will enable the priest or promoter in charge to see at a glance what hours are taken and which ones are open. In this way when a person applies for an hour, leaving the choice to the priest or promoter, then the gaps may be filled up. Thus night by night the month will be filled, and consequently the entire year, as the monthly adoration is repeated for the twelve months of the year. As soon as an adorer’s name is withdrawn for any reason another name should be assigned to his hour. In some parishes, night adoration is 100% perfect. What an avalanche of graces is going to descend on those parishes in which so many fervent parishioners are “paying the ransom” for other and less fervent parishioners!
Schools, Societies, etc. Catholic schools, societies, etc., may also aim at perpetual adoration within their own groups. Thus a school may strive to have enough pupils making adoration so that every night of the month is taken. The same is true of Catholic Societies and groups many of which are city wide as far as membership is concerned. Parish promoters should not draw on this membership to fill gaps within their own parish, thus going outside their parochial limits to obtain the necessary names to fill the entire month. This will only lead to confusion.
Priests. It is not necessary for priests to send in a specific date and hour to become members of the League. It is sufficient that they be enrolled at an authorized Center. They may of course, select a fixed date and hour, if they so desire, or have one assigned to them. However, due to the fact that a priest’s time is not always his own, he is free to change his date and hour according to circumstances. Let priests “pay the ransom” for other priests.
Religious. Individual religious may enroll, or entire communities. In the latter case, the arrangement and assignment of the hours of adoration are left ap to the religious superior. In a religious house where nocturnal adoration in the chapel already exists, in order to gain the indulgences and share in the merits of the League, it is sufficient that the names of the religious be sent to a Center for enrollment. This is also true in the case of those who make the ”Holy Hour” as a group in the chapel. It is not necessary to make night adoration in the chapel, but it may be made in one’s room or cell. This is especially true when adoration in the chapel might disturb the rest of the community. The superior may change the hours of adoration for any reasonable motive, as may the individual religious. It goes without saying that religious should consult their superiors and spiritual directors before undertaking this work of reparation. Let religious “pay the ransom” for other religious.
Seminarians. What has been said of religious applies also to Seminarians. Hundreds of Seminarians are making night adoration, “paying the ransom” for other Seminarians.
Nurses. Nurses may make their hour of adoration while on night duty, even while watching beside the bed of a patient. Already one outstanding conversion has resulted from this practice: one nurse “paid the ransom” for a lost sheep who returned to the fold at the last moment.
Sick and Aged. The sick and aged are permitted to make their hour of adoration in bed, if they are unable to get up. They need have no scruples of conscience about this, but let them offer their sufferings to the Sacred Heart, “paying the ransom” for sinners.
Night Workers. Defense workers and others employed at night find it difficult to make their hour of adoration at night. There are several possible solutions. They may make their adoration before they go to work, especially if they are working on a late shift; or they may make their hour after they return from an earlier shift; or (as some are doing) they may make their hour during the “lunch hour”, in the factory itself, if they find that conditions warrant it. Let them find a secluded corner and offer up their hour in reparation for their fellow-workers, ”paying the ransom” in the very place, where, perhaps, many sins are being committed. Night adoration may be made anywhere, provided there is no irreverence intended.
Service Men. Many service men are making night adoration in various parts of the world: from Iceland to the South Pacific. ln barracks, in chapels, and under the open sky, our soldiers and sailors are making reparation to the Sacred Heart for some of the crimes being committed under the guise of war. In some camps, night adoration is well organized and is carried on throughout the night. Many graces and blessings have already been obtained through this practice, groups of generous soldiers “paying the ransom” for the others.
General Observations. Father Mateo strongly urges the night adorers to begin their hour of adoration by uniting themselves in spirit with the priests who at that moment are offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in some part of the world. Let them “Pray the Mass” by using their Missals and reciting the Canon of the Mass with the priest. It is also suggested that the night adorer obtain a copy of the booklet NIGHT ADORATION IN THE HOME written by Father Mateo especially for the hour of adoration in the home. 1 o vary the prayers Father Mateo has written a series of 21 Holy Hours for every month of the year and special occasions. These books may be obtained from your promoter, local Center or from the National Center, Fairhaven Mass.
Night Adoration is distinct from the work of the Enthronement, although a logical sequence of the former. Therefore one can be a night adorer without having one’s home enthroned, even though all night adorers are strongly urged to enthrone the Sacred Heart as King of their family in reparation for His dethronement by so many modern “Christian” families. For information regarding the Enthronement, contact the nearest Center of the work, or write directly to the National Center.
Indulgences. By decree of April 27, 1929, the Very Reverend Father General of the Franciscan Fathers affiliated the League of Night Adoration to this Order, and granted all night adorers participation in its merits. On the 17th of May, 1929, the League of Night Adoration was affiliated to the Franciscan Confraternity of Nocturnal Reparation in Italy. This was ratified by the Sacred Congregation of the Council by a Rescript of April 14, 1930. By virtue of this affiliation, the members of the League can gain the following Indulgences. Note — To gain these Indulgences it is necessary that the name of the night adorer be inscribed at a duly authorized Center; that the adoration be made between the hours of 9 and 6, according to the legal time in your locality.
1) A Plenary Indulgence on the ordinary conditions (confession, communion, visit to a church or public oratory, prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions):
(a) On the day of their admission as members of the League. (This means the day they hand in their enrollment to a promoter or send it to a Center. Promoters must send in the names to a Center.)
(b) Every time members make their hour of adoration according to the Regulations given above.
2) A Plenary Indulgence at the hour of death if the members, having received the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist, or at least, being contrite, invoke the Holy Name of Jesus, if possible with their lips or at least in their heart, and patiently accept death as coming from the Hand of God and as the wages of sin.
3) A Partial Indulgence of 7 years for every extra hour of adoration made with a contrite heart.