By MICHAELA HILLAM
THE hormone oxytocin is released during sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.
It is a bonding agent. So, during these instances, not only are you bonded physically and spiritually, but chemically too. It makes sense, right?
A small amount of this hormone is also released every time you make eye contact with someone. It is for this reason you come to trust other people.
Now all you’ll be able to think when you make eye contact with someone is “Oxytocin. Oxytocin. Oxytocin.” You’re welcome.
So, I’ve been wondering … is oxytocin released during Eucharistic adoration? After all, the Eucharist is the real presence of Christ:
“As a result of transubstantiation … nothing remains of the bread and the wine except for the species – beneath which Christ is present whole and entire in His physical ‘reality’, corporeally present, although not in the manner in which bodies are in a place.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)
Therefore, when we place ourselves in Eucharistic adoration, we place ourselves in the true presence of Christ. Like a date with a loved one, there He sits before us.
“During Eucharistic adoration, it is not only we who behold Christ, but it is also He who beholds us. When we adore the Blessed Sacrament, we are not just gazing at a beautiful but inert object. The contemplative mode of prayer that we learn during adoration presupposes that Christ returns our gaze.” (Archbishop Augustine Di Noia)
So, thus I wonder … as Christ gazes back upon us, does our brain release oxytocin? And if this is the case, then are we not bonded further to Him through each moment spent in His Real Presence?
To date there have not been any experiments to prove this but what we can look at is the result of Eucharistic adoration on people’s lives.
I can personally attest to the change that has been made in me by spending an hour a week in adoration. I call you, Catholics: spend regular time in Eucharistic adoration – only good can be done.
See if your life isn’t changed.
Michaela Hillam is a young Catholic blogger from Brisbane.