One of the beautiful traditions still kept by many devout Catholics is praying “The Morning Offering” at the beginning of each day. While there are many variations of the prayer, I think the most popular version is this:
“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of my relatives and friends, and in particular, for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.”
That prayer, as simple as it is, has many elements that are near and dear to Catholics: an appeal to Mary’s intercession in our lives; our belief that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the ultimate expression of our prayers; the need to do penance each day in reparation for our sins; a loving remembrance of our families and friends; and a reminder that as Catholics we belong to a worldwide family of faith, led by our Holy Father, the Pope.
You see, each day the Lord gives us marks a new beginning. Each day is like opening a carefully wrapped gift box that contains many surprises. Who knows what the day will hold for us! Experience has taught us that some things we control, but many others we don’t.
And yet the Morning Offering is a recognition that every single day is filled with meaning that transcends the exigencies of the moment; that all of the events of the day, good and bad, have value if they are offered up to the Lord. It teaches us that we are not alone in the world but are united to the needs and intentions, the joys and sorrows of our brothers and sisters everywhere. And it’s a reminder that throughout the day our friend Jesus will be with us; that he walks with us and really cares about what and how we’re doing.
In short, the Morning Offering teaches us that each day is a blessing, not a burden; an opportunity to be embraced, not an ordeal to be endured.
Something to think about: When you rise each day, is your tendency to say, “Good morning, God,” or “Good God, morning?” Praying the Morning Offering can help you with that!