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The Morning Offering is an ancient prayer, and an easy habit to start during these weeks leading up to Easter.
A few years ago for Lent, a friend emailed me some prayers. I read that the Morning Offering is a way of giving to God the entire day ahead — the good and the bad, the trials and sacrifices, as well as the joys and blessings. I started reading it every morning and soon I had it memorized.
Like many Catholics I was in the habit of throwing out individual offerings here and there during the day: “Okay, God, I offer up this total hassle to you…” Whether it was waiting two hours in a doctor’s office, or my son’s abandonment of his faith, or a medical problem, I’d try to remember to put the trial to good use for any number of intentions. With the Morning Offering, the whole day is “covered” in advance.
We can’t pray constantly, yet we can turn our entire day into one continuous offering through this simple prayer, starting our day by giving it to God, through His Blessed Mother. It dedicates our entire day and our entire self to God in that day ahead. We join all our efforts for God’s purpose with the Sacrifice of the Mass for the conversion of sinners, reparation for our own sins, and the souls in Purgatory. It acknowledges that each day is a gift, and expresses gratitude for our blessings and joys … all this in under three minutes! Now I’m in the habit of saying it every morning. If I’m not reading it in my daily prayer email, I can say it from memory, or even offer my own abbreviated version.
For centuries people have prayed variations of the Morning Offering. Probably one of the best known versions today is this one, composed by Father Francois Xavier Gaulrelet in 1844 for his Apostleship of Prayer ministry, which he founded that year.
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, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Pope John Paul II once said that the practice of praying the Morning Offering is “of fundamental importance in the life of each and every one of the faithful.” It is a daily reminder to make our entire day, our whole life “a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1).
The Morning Offering is a great addition to your Lent. You’re likely to find that it makes a difference in your life, and want to continue to say it all through the year.