Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


Morning Offering

The Morning Offering began in 1844 as an aspect of the League of the Sacred Heart of Jesus' "Apostleship of Prayer," in a Jesuit seminary in Vals, France. The seminarians were destined to evangelize in Indian and American missions and, anxious to get on with their work, were reminded by their spiritual Father, Fr. Francois Xavier Gautrelet, that salvation is supernatural and that they can also get on with their apostleship through prayer and by offering up their sufferings, joining them with Christ's, as St. Paul reminds us in Colossians 1:23-24: "I Paul am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church."

Later, another Jesuit, Jesuit Father Ramiere, began to publish the "Messenger of the Sacred Heart" to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This helped to spread the "Morning Offering Prayer," encouraging the faithful to begin each day by offering that day and its sufferings to the Lord for the good of the Church and the Holy Father's intentions -- i.e., the Pope's General Intentions for each month and his Mission Intentions for each month. 1

At first, the "Morning Offering" included offering up "prayers, works and suffering," but a nun urged Pope Pius XII to include the concept of joy as well. The Holy Father agreed, and so some forms of the Morning offering now include offering up "our prayers, works, joys and suffering."

The Offering is meant to be prayed first thing in the morning, thereby consecrating the day to the Lord and preparing one to focus all on Jesus and give to Him all that one does during the day. There are a few variations of the Morning Offering, some offering our oblations to Jesus in imitation of Mary's Immaculate Heart. Here is a common form:

Lord Jesus Christ, in union with that divine intention wherewith on earth Thou didst offer to God Thy praises through Thy Most Sacred Heart, and dost now offer them in the Sacrament of the Eucharist everywhere on earth even to the end of time, I most gladly offer Thee throughout this entire day, all my thoughts and intentions, all my affections and desires, all my words and deeds, in imitation of the most sacred Heart of the blessed and ever Virgin Mary Immaculate. Amen.

Latin version:
Domine Iesu Christe, in unione illius divinae intentionis, quia in terris per sanctissimum Cor tuum laudes Deo persolvisti et nunc in Eucharistiae Sacramento ubique terrarum persolvis usque ad consummationem saeculi, ego per hanc diem integram, ad imitationem sanctissimi Cordis beatae Mariae semper Virginis immaculatae, tibi libentissime offero omnes meos intentiones et cogitationes, omnes meos affectus et desideria, omnia mea opera et verba. Amen.

Now, throughout the day, offer up your harships and sacrifices to Jesus, uniting them with His sufferings and merits so that your works gain the merit they can never have apart from Him. It is especially beneficial to offer them to Mary to give to Jesus so that her intercession as Queen Mother of Israel renders them more pleasing.

The Morning Offering can be renewed throughout the day with simple short prayers (called "ejaculations" or "aspirations"), for ex., "All for Thee, Jesus!"

There's also an old prayer, prayed even before the Morning Offering, the moment one wakes up. It's quite lovely, and begins with the sign of the Cross +

Glory be to the Father, Who hath created me.
Glory be to the Son, Who hath redeemed me.
Glory be to the Holy Ghost, Who hath sanctified me.
Blessed be the holy and undivided Trinity now and for ever. Amen.

Another prayer prayed in the morning, though not a part of the formal Morning Offering, is a prayer to one's guardian angel. The traditional prayer taught to children, and which can, of course, still be prayed by adults is this one:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God's love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Whether you pray the formal Morning Offering or pray the same sentiments in your own words, it's a good idea to think of God the first thing in the morning, as soon as you open your eyes, and to ask your guardian angel to watch over you. Advert your attention to God and His angels the moment you're awake, and your day starts out in a good way.

To finish, a thought to have in your mind throughout the day, from a prayer book published in 1896:

Remember, Christian soul, that thou hast this day and every day of thy life:
God to glorify,
Jesus to imitate,
The Angels and Saints to invoke,
A soul to save,
A body to mortify,
Sins to expiate,
Virtues to acquire,
Hell to avoid,
Heaven to gain,
Eternity to prepare for,
Time to profit by,
Neighbors to edify,
The world to despise,
Devils to combat,
Passions to subdue,
Death perhaps to suffer,
And Judgment to undergo.


1 Popes set up prayer intentions for each month and encourage the faithful to pray for those intentions with them. They're different from Pope to Pope, and from year to year. You can find the present Pope's intentions here: https://www.popesprayer.va/

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