Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Morning Offerings  

I recently heard that one way to help you to have success in your day is to, before you even arise from your bed, envision yourself successfully completing the most difficult task of the day. For example, if you have some type of presentation to give to your colleagues and boss, you would go through a scenario in your mind of how you will present the material flawlessly and then answer any follow-up questions with well-informed answers.

This idea of "visioning" is not anything new. Sports psychologists have been working with athletes for years utilizing the same idea. A footballer might be asked to see himself marking the opposing team's star striker such that he is not able to even get a decent shot off all game. Or perhaps the striker who has not had a goal in several games is encouraged to see himself hitting the back of the net with a brilliant shot taken after he has freed himself from his defender.

The Church knows something about this idea of preparing yourself for the rest of your day. It is called the morning offering. It has been part of her spiritual wisdom for centuries. The idea is very simple, but like many things that are simple, it is quite beautiful. The goal is, with the first action or your day, to put yourself in the hands of God. The key is to do it as soon as possible at the beginning of the day. It is a way of acknowledging that you belong to God, and you want to give Him yourself and your day's activities. Also, through doing this as the first action of your day, you are humbling yourself by recognizing that you need Him to assist you from the very beginning to the end of you day. Another way of looking at it is to see this morning prayer as a greeting to God, just like you would greet someone else in the morning.

Perhaps the best known morning offering is from the Apostolate of Prayer:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world.
I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart:
the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians.
I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer,
and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

This is the morning offering which I like to pray. I would like to say that I pray it every morning, but I do not. However, when I do remember to pray it, and especially when I quiet myself long enough to pray it with some recollection, it does change my mindset. I realize that what I do and say throughout the day is being offered to God. I certainly need His help to make anything I do worthy of being offered to Him. I also realize that all can be offered to God, even, and perhaps more so, the sufferings and disappointments of my day. He knows about the ups and downs of my day, and He wants me to know He is there to receive whatever I am able to offer to Him.

Here are some others:

Lord, one more day to love you!
Blessed Charles de Foucauld

Lord, today is the day I begin!
St. Philip Neri

Jesus, shine through me and be so in me that every person I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul.
John Henry Cardinal Newman

My God, send me thy Holy Spirit to teach me what I am and what thou art!
St. John Vianney

Grant me the grace to spend this day without offending You and without failing my neighbor.
St. Louise de Marillac

I like this last morning offering because it is prayer to be able to fulfill the two greatest commandments to love God with all your heart and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. It sums up all that we are to be about in all that we do throughout the day.

There is of course no need to use a particular prayer or to even make it formal prayer. The important thing is at the start of the day to make a habit of putting God first and "seeing yourself" with Him, supported by Him, and giving all to Him.

Posted by David at 6:59 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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