Nobody in their right mind would look to me for advice on how to have a strong, consistent prayer life. All my life, I have struggled with prayer, and I have mostly won. (Think about what that means for a moment. It’s not good!)
But if you could zoom out and look over my life, you could see one thing: The times when I am most at peace and seeking God’s will most often are the times when I was consistently making a morning offering.
This is not a straight “if x, then y” causal connection, of course. It is not magic to make a morning offering. It may even be the other way around: I am more likely to make a morning offering when I’m at a time in my life when I am already feeling connected to God or when I’m already remembering consistently to turn to him to help with hope and trust. One thing I know is that there are not any shortcuts.
Nevertheless, if anyone asked me what was the one thing they could do to start off on a better path spiritually, I would recommend resolving to make a morning offering. It hits that sweet spot: It’s fast and it’s easy, but it takes a small amount of discipline on your part, which signals to you that it is worthwhile. But it also puts the ball in the Holy Spirit’s court, which, well, I am starting to think is the whole entire point of life.
It is also something you can do no matter what your current relationship with God is like. If you’re feeling distant, you can offer up your day as a wistful act of hope, no harm done. If you’re angry, you can do it defiantly: Hey, You! See this sack of garbage you left me with? How about you carry it for a while? [Flings life down at foot of cross with horrible splatting noise.] If you’re feeling lazy, you can do it because it’s quick and easy and better than nothing. If you’re feeling very connected, it can be a beautiful and profound way to begin another day with the Lord. If you’re feeling trusting, you can thank him in advance for whatever is about to come.
The big thing is, you don’t have to be…anything. You don’t have to have particular plans or expectations for your morning offering. It may even be better if you don’t. … Read the rest of my latest for America Magazine.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
8 thoughts on “I am once again asking you to make a morning offering”
I try each morning to at least say two short prayers. First a Jewish morning prayer I learned from The Chosen: I give thanks to you, O living and eternal king, for you have graciously restored my soul to me. Great is your faithfulness. Then I say: I thank you and I praise you, Lord, for creation, for life and for salvation.
Hey thanks for this! I have 30 4th grade students. I printed the article for their parents and put it in their Friday Folder cubbies.
I will give the kids a simple explanation of what your article is about –good advice for anybody of any age!
I check your blog for inspiration I can pass on to the kids. Their text book “Blest Are We” assumes so much. The kids are very bright, but only one of them goes to mass regularly. I was rendered speechless the first week of school when fully ZERO of them knew what a martyr or a missionary is! I used Mother Teresa as an example of a missionary, and they said “who’s that?”
Something transpired between my two sons this morning that smacked so much of synchronicity that I feel the Holy Spirit pushing me to retell it. Today was a tag day at their high school which means pay 5 dollars and you don’t have to wear the uniform. I quickly found five singles and a ten and asked them if they were ok paying together or should I look for another 5. My younger son said he’d rather have the 5 singles because his brother spends “like ten more minutes” just sitting in the car before he goes in. I said, “Are you prettying yourself?” Our older son responded, “I’m just collecting myself” to which our younger son responded, “He’s saying the Morning Offering. Oh Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day…”
Crazy! First of all, my younger son was definitely joking and neither he nor I think his brother is actually saying the morning offering, but of course we don’t know. We have never as a family said a Morning Offering, but all our kids did say it every single morning in their parish school, plus an Act of Contrition before going home, just as we did all those years ago. Anyway, I thought I’d leave my little story here because @anna lisa, maybe it wasn’t synchronicity and instead it was the Holy Spirit saying if you said the classic Morning Offering every day with your kids, it might stick with them?
Oh God Philly,
the H.S. made me come here to see if anybody had any advice for me. It’s all such a mystery to me.
Yes, the Holy Spirit moves in a way that is both incomprehensible and logical.
Thanks be to God! Thank you for your witness. Thanks be to God, that your son was making his morning offering. My fifth and sixth have turned all holy roller on me. It’s both weird and inspiring. What a mystery.
Today I “low key” (new lingo) made them answer an exit ticket for what they learned at mass. Once they new 5 points were at stake they turned the paper in. Little heathens.
When I had confession recently, the priest suggested a morning offering . However, given I’m more likely to dump out in anxiety or despair right now, it doesn’t seem right to ruin a lovely morning. I’ll try that psalm instead.And thank you for noting that correlation does not equate causation!
Father Ciszek’s Prayer of Surrender is a thing of beauty.
I looked it up and stapled it to Simcha’s article. I included the words “happy” and “indifferent” to the idea that we might be feeling sadness.