The Morning Offering

Hills in sunshine

A great tradition in the Catholic faith is to say a prayer of morning offering in which we offer everything of the day, good and bad, to God. It’s a simple but effective habit which immediately connects us with God at the very start of each day and sets the tone for the rest of it. It reminds us not to forget our morning prayers and just rush off into our daily tasks since they will inevitably take our attention and it can be some time before we have a little space to remember that we need the Lord’s help to get through the day peacefully and well.  The unknown author of this poem sums it up:

The Difference

I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,
and heavier came each task,
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered,
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day rolled on, grey and bleak,
I wondered why God didn’t show me,
He said,“But you didn’t seek.”

I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock.”

I woke up early this morning,
And paused before entering the day,
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.

Of course, for many Catholics the Morning Offering is just part of a whole series of their chosen morning prayers which include a great variety of things including the Rosary or the Morning Prayer of the Church from the Divine Office or Breviary.  If limited for time or to start getting into a routine of regular morning prayer, there are a great variety of morning offerings to choose from.  The writer on the website Our Catholic Prayers at https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/morning-offering.html suggests that a morning offering is the best thing that we can give God first thing in our day and lists a variety of forms of it.

The following morning offering is from the Redemptorist Mission and Novena Book.   Used at some online Masses the soothing rhythm enables thoughtful contemplation of the various petitions which have seemed particularly poignant during this period of lockdown.

Morning Prayer

God of my life, I welcome this new day.
It is your gift to me, a new creation,
a promise of resurrection.

I thank you for the grace of being alive this morning.
I thank you for the sleep that has refreshed me.
I thank you for this chance to make a new beginning.

This day Lord is full of promise and opportunity;
let me waste none of it.
This day is full of mystery and the unknown;
help me to face it without fear or anxiety.
This day is blessed with beauty and adventure:
make me fully alive to it all.

During this day
keep me thoughtful, prayerful and kind.
May I be courteous and helpful to others,
and not turned in on myself.
Keep me from any word that would hurt, or belittle, or destroy;
and may the thoughts of my mind
be pleasing in your sight.

When night comes again,
may I look back on this day
with no grievance or bitterness in my heart;
and may nobody be unhappy
because of anything I have done
or anything I have failed to do.

Lord, bless this day for me and for everyone.
Make it a day in which we grow
to have the mind of Christ, your Son.

Lord Jesus Christ, friend and brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day. Amen
.