“We place it in His hands – no matter what comes.”
Sometimes we make prayer more complicated than it needs to be. A few days ago, I finished my cup of coffee and my brief morning time of prayer by kind of muttering under my breath, “I don’t know about this day, God. So it’s yours.”
It wasn’t a traditional morning offering by any means, but it was definitely a prayer from a place of honesty and vulnerability. And it got me thinking about the power of the morning offering.
We have a unique opportunity every morning. As we open our eyes – whether it’s because of the sun, the alarm, a noisy spouse, or a needy child – we have the opportunity to give this unique, unrepeatable day to God. Try to cultivate the habit of having those first thoughts turn to Him. Whatever is going to come your way that day, whether it’s joys or sorrows, routine or chaos, it’s His.
Perhaps a little later when you’re a bit more awake, you make a more formal morning offering. I pray a fairly traditional one:
O my Jesus, in union with your most precious blood poured out on the cross and offered at every Mass, I offer you today my prayers, works, joys, sorrows and sufferings of this day; for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, the reparation of sins, the conversion of sinners, the union of all Christians, and our final union with you in heaven. Amen.
You do not need to use a rote prayer from the Church, however, and if you do, you want to protect it from becoming too routine. Make sure you’re thinking about some of those works and joys and sufferings and consciously offering them to Him.
By praying a morning offering, you are transforming your entire day into a prayer. We should be offering our work and lives throughout our day to Him and calling to mind His presence throughout our day as well. But if you’re like me, you probably don’t do this as well as you should. By beginning our day with the morning offering, you are placing everything that’s about to come your way on His altar.
This is part of our call as priests. Remember, you were baptized into Christ as priest, prophet, and king. As priests, we are united to Christ and His sacrifice in the offering we make of ourselves and our daily lives. This is what Paul speaks of when he exhorts us, “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). We are called to offer up the joys, sorrows, and sacrifices of our daily lives. Those ordinary activities of our lives have power when united with Christ’s sacrifice.
Maybe today will look a lot like yesterday. Or perhaps there will be a curve ball you weren’t expecting. Maybe it’s your birthday or anniversary. Your day may be filled with unexpected joys or expected sufferings. Maybe you’re not quite sure how you are going to get through today at all.
Each day is a gift. As we open our eyes, we thank God for the gift of another day. We place it in His hands – no matter what comes. Your morning offering does not need to be fancy. It just needs to be sincere.
“Lord, this day is yours.”
That’s at least a start. No magic words. Just an attempt to “offer up” the day and give it a purpose. Can you imagine the revolution we would start if everyone began offering up their days? Every day is filled with opportunities. How much is wasted? Even something as small as a difficult commute, an annoying neighbor, or a lukewarm cup of coffee can be offered up when they can’t be changed. The large joys of a new baby, a new friend, or the conversion of a family member can be offered back to God, as well as the small joys like a door held open, a smile from a stranger, or a text from a friend.
Make your day a prayer. Whatever is going to come your way that day, whether it’s joys or sorrows, routine or chaos, it is His.
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