How to Get the Greatest Spiritual Benefit Out of Praying the Morning Offering
The morning offering is a long-standing practice in the Catholic Church, but what is it? The morning offering is the habit of beginning each day with a prayer by which we consecrate all of our daily actions, trials, and triumphs to God and thereby live each moment of the day in union with Jesus.
Not surprisingly, if performed with real intention, this prayer can have a profound transformative effect on our daily lives. In fact, this habit has been a hallmark of spirituality for some of the greatest saints, including St. Therese of Lisieux and Pope St. John Paul II. St. John Paul II referred to the morning offering as “fundamental importance” in the life of every Christian.
How to Pray the Morning Offering
There are many ways to pray the morning offering. They can range from a short spontaneous exclamation, “Lord be with me in all my actions this day” or one of many common memorized prayers. One of the simplest and most common forms is below:
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 all my relatives and friends,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.
Three Tips to Get the Most Spiritual Benefit Out of Your Morning Offering
#1 Have a specific daily intention.
I personally pray a modified version of the prayer above. What do I mean by modified? Well, I like to personalize the prayer with a specific intention for each day of the week. As I pray my morning offering I include those intentions by name. For instance, Monday is for my wife’s family, Tuesday for my family, Wednesday for the work of our parish, Thursday the work of missionaries, Friday is for our immediate family (my wife and children), Saturday for the end of abortion, and Sunday for our priest and several priest friends. I also have several intentions I include by name each day. These include deceased friends and relatives as well as individuals with health problems.
Having a specific named intention helps me recall my morning offering throughout the day. In those moments when I am struggling or moments when my actions are not so closely united to Jesus as I might like, recalling my loved ones will refocus my efforts and change my focus from myself to those I love.
#2 Make the morning offering the foundation of a daily prayer time.
Some people recommend praying your morning offering immediately when you wake up in the morning and before your feet hit the floor. I am personally not mentally alert enough to pray it with intention before I have gotten up and moved around. Therefore, I like to begin my personal prayer time each day by making the morning offering.
I find the prayer helps set the tone for my personal prayer each day. First, it helps me recognize that I need to place myself in the presence of God. Secondly, it makes me other focused or points my prayer outwards as I make specific intention for others. Next, it places my mind on Jesus as I seek to unite myself with him. Finally, including the morning offering as part of my daily prayer routine gives me a structure to attach it to when life gets hectic. This is especially important in the midst of family life. We all know what a hurricane the morning can be as we try to get breakfast on the table, kids ready for school, and people out the door to work.
#3 Recall your morning offering when you meet challenges even if you have not prayed your morning offering yet.
I will freely admit, I don’t always make my morning offering in the morning. On most days, I try to stop by our parish to pray on my way into work. However, my schedule does not always allow me to do this. Sometimes, there is that early morning meeting or that spill at the breakfast table which prevents me from getting there. On those, days my personal prayer gets bumped to later in the day. When my personal prayer gets bumped, so does my morning offering.
This does not stop me from trying to recall my daily intention or my daily commitment to unifying my actions to Jesus throughout out the day. On these days, I simply make my offering later in the day when I pray. One can even reflect on the experiences of the day and select specific moments to offer to Jesus. Doing this can also serve as a great examination of conscience as one can observe those places and times where we responded to others in union with Christ and those times and places we did not.
Hopefully this reflection helps you learn to live your daily actions in closer union with Jesus. I encourage to try the prayer listed above or find one of the various versions that are available.
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