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A Catholic Morning Offering to God

 

Each morning, the very first thing we should do as Catholics is to make what is called our “Morning Offering” to God: that is to say, the total offering of ourselves —  to God.

The Morning Offering is a prayer of your own making, a prayer in which you offer to God — well, everything ... everything that you are, everything that you possess, all that you experience and all that you will suffer this day.

The words that you choose are your own and uniquely yours. If you are at a loss at the beginning, there are many wonderful prayers that you can find by the Saints or that are recommended to you by Holy Mother the Church. Many are found in your Missal if you have one of your own. Choose one as a starting point, and you will soon come to understand the value, the beauty and the profound meaning of this holy practice that has existed from the beginning of the Church.

The following prayer is offered as an example and may be helpful to you in understanding what is involved in your Morning Offering as a Catholic, but your words will be different, for your life is different: what you suffer, what you need, those in your life whom you love, your own difficulties and aspirations — these you will hold up to God at the beginning your day:
 




In Nomine Patris +, et Filii +, et Spiritus Sancti +  Amen
. (as you make the Sign of the Cross, “In the Name of the Father+ and of the Son+ and of the Holy Ghost.+ ”)
 

“Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, O, Holy Ghost, I love Thee, my Lord and my God — above all and before all, and all that I love, I love in Thee!

       O, Mary, Mother of God, I love thee above all women, thou who art the most perfect of all that God has created ... please pray with me and for me!

All you holy Angels, Saints, and Holy Martyrs ... pray with me and for me.
 
       My God, I offer myself to Thee: all that I am, all that I have, all that pertains to me; all that I suffer, all that happens to me.

Give to me as it pleases Thee.

       Take from me as it pleases Thee.

I beg Thee, Lord my God, fulfill within me perfectly Thy most holy will.

       Make of me what You will.

Do with me what You will!

       I offer all to Thee — without recall — keeping nothing for myself.

I beg Thee, Lord my God, unite me in my suffering with Thy suffering, my Jesus, in The Garden, at the Pillar, and on the Cross! Unite my suffering to Thine, I implore Thee! Make it redemptive of souls through Thee, with Thee, and in Thee.

       Lord my God, I hold up to Thee all those I love, my friends, and my enemies. Keep them, I beg Thee, for Thyself — in time, and in eternity before Thy Most Holy Face in Heaven forever. Protect them from the evil one and every evil! I offer myself to Thee for them: give me their suffering and I will gladly bear it for them. Take their suffering from them ... and give it to me!

Have mercy on me, a sinner.

       Make me one with Thee in all things.

In a special way I hold up to Thee [name the people most dear to you, and those for whom you have promised your prayers, and all who stand in most need of God's mercy and healing, His guidance and protection], and all those poor souls in Purgatory who have no one to pray for them and who most need Thy consolation.

       I hold up to Thee all those who died last night and those who will die today. Have mercy on them; in their last moments give them the grace to be converted to Thee, forgive them their sins, and bring them to everlasting life in Thy presence..

I hold up to Thee the Holy Father and all his intentions. Bless him and strengthen him and help him to lead Thy Church into all holiness.

       Have mercy on me and all poor sinners, especially those of us most in need of Thy mercy.

I offer all to Thee in union with Thy Son Jesus Christ in union with the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

       In Nomine Patris +, et Filii +, et Spiritus Sancti + — Amen.
 


 

 

Before all else

Upon waking and before all else — or as soon as it is possible to us — we should drop to our knees before God and make our Morning Offering of ourselves to Almighty God. It is the beginning of our day, and as the Psalmist reminds us, Nisi aedificaverunt domum, in vanum laboraverunt qui aedificant eum  —  “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” 1 The foundation of our day is no one else and nothing else than God, and unless our day is built upon Him, all we do is in vain.

We can be sure that once we have offered ourselves, and the obligations of our day, to God, nothing — absolutely nothing — will touch upon us except that He wills it or permits it for our sanctification. No suffering, no humiliation, no weariness, no weakness, no temptation of this day can touch upon us that is not ordained by Almighty God to our good and the good of others. Most often we will be largely unaware of the significance of things that transpire in our day that are precious to God. Simple words, gestures — for the mere presence of our being among others touches and influences their lives in ways we cannot see or anticipate. Sometimes, from afar, and utterly unknown to us, another will observe what we do — and in that instant a seed is planted in their souls that grows to everlasting life in Christ — because we are faithful to what we have offered and promised God at the beginning of our day.

Your Example

Saint Francis once famously said, “Preach the Gospel … and if necessary use words.” Our example is the most poignant testimony to the life of Christ within us. And that example perceived by others  — and completely unknown to us — is what changes the lives of others, turns the lives of others to Christ and to Holy Mother the Church. All that we purpose to do to for the glory of God very often pales in significance to what we do that we do not realize influences others, bearing witness to Christ all unknown to us.

What is notable in this Morning Offering is the prayer for union with Christ, not in His glory, but in the ignominy of His suffering through which He redeemed the world. We pray to unite our suffering with His. It has been said that many there are who would gladly walk with Christ upon His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were strewn in his path and the crowd proclaimed,
“Hosanna, Son of David!” — but few who will walk with Him on His sorrowful road to Calvary. All gathered around Him in His glory, and all fled Him in His suffering and humiliation.

This prayer asks for total union with Christ — especially in His suffering: in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal, at the Pillar to which He was chained and scourged to the white of His bones, and on the Cross of His Agony, despised by the world, ridiculed, and mortified in what seemed His abandonment. But it was through His suffering that He redeemed the world — and we wish to share intimately in it with Him through the little, insignificant sufferings and humiliations we experience throughout our day — that we may be one with Him in all things, at all times. Not when it will earn us acclaim and esteem, but, rather, reproach and malice.

Your suffering is not yours to choose. It will come to you withal, and on terms decidedly not to your liking. You will embrace the Angel of consolation who came to Christ in the Garden, the chains that bind your hands to the scourging of the world, and the Cross itself upon which you have already died in Christ, and now seek to renew that death for Him: the dying to yourself, to your own will, that you may live in and for Christ alone — that you may be with Him in all things and at all times, in your present suffering … and in the glory to be revealed on the day of the culmination of your life in Christ, when this world passes and all within it … revealing all that Christ has promised to those who suffer for His Name.
 

Editor
Boston Catholic Journal

_____________________________________

1 Psalm 126.1

 

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Boston Catholic Journal

 

 

 



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