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Reflections on Adoration and Praise

by Reynold Hillenbrand
Address at the first National Liturgical Week, Chicago, 1940

We need to emphasize the adoring and praising elements in the liturgy. You know the average Catholic as well as I do, and you know the drift of your own prayer life. Even in the case of excellent Catholics, praying is like to be overly-concerned with petition (the “getting God to do our will” tendency), or possibly with contrition. Such a tendency is egocentric, self-centered. It puts so much stress on ourselves. For that reason it is narrowing, unexpansive. It cheapens us as creatures. Praise and adoration, on the other hand, turn us to the Godhead. They take us out of ourselves, take us away from the confining limits of poor human nature and take us instead to the limitless reaches of the infinite, of the great good God. There is a deepening, maturing, expansive, exalting influence of this God-centric worship.