WHY DO WE GENUFLECT IN FRONT OF THE TABERNACLE?
Some people ask the question as to why Catholics go down on their right knee before going into the pew or when they pass the tabernacle. Well, it is an age old tradition in the Catholic Church for Catholics to show veneration and adoration to Our Blessed Lord whom we believe is really and truly present in the tabernacle. Of course, if we are unable to genuflect, we make a bow. When we do this we remind ourselves that we are literally in the presence of God, both physically and mentally. This reminded me of a story.
There was once a French priest, famous for preaching on the Eucharist, who every day after closing the church would prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament. One day he heard a commotion in the confessional and a woman appeared who said, “I’m not a Catholic, but I’ve been listening to your talks and I wanted to see if you practised what you preach. Now that I’ve seen you’re sincere in adoring God, I want to become a Catholic.” This story not only shows us that we must remember to give adoration to Our Lord, but also how we can often influence others by our actions.
In preparation for the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima in 1917, an Angel appeared to the three seers in 1916 “holding a chalice in his hands, with a host above it from which some drops of blood were falling into the sacred vessel.” The Angel left the chalice and host suspended in the air, and prostrated himself upon the ground with the children and prayed the following prayer with them three times:
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of JESUS Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended.
Jesus is truly present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Let us never neglect to adore Him there.
Fr Paul Gillham