Friday, January 15, 2016

Jan. 15, 2016 Friday: 1st Week in Ordinary Time C

Jan. 15, 2016 Friday: 1st Week in Ordinary Time C

Good Morning God


It’s Saturday morning, and Dad, in undershirt and boxers, and I, in PJs, are lathering our faces with shaving cream as we look at ourselves in the bathroom mirror. I, being only six years old, stand on the countertop and move Dad’s comb down my cheeks, pushing off the foam in rows in the same manner as my Dad’s reflection is doing with his razor. I love this ritual. I love the feel of my Dad’s smooth cheeks after the stubble of the night is swiped away. At some point during this father-son ceremony, Dad nods toward the rectangular sticker with the face of Jesus that is stuck to the lower-right-hand side of the mirror. My reading skills being new, I try as best I can to follow along as Dad recites the Morning Offering, “O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day….”

My Saturday morning prayer times these days have the same feel as those of my childhood memories. I, in robe and slippers, sit with a cup of coffee while the Father and I prayerfully swipe away the stubble—the worries and concerns I took to bed with me the night before. Last night they kept me up and led me to believe they would soon grow out of control. But this morning I see that my Father and I can easily control them—can keep my soul smooth despite their presence. Last night as I tossed and turned in bed, the waters of chaos crashed upon the craggy rocks of my worried heart. But this morning God’s breath makes everything still and quiet. And at the end of the ceremony, I offer my own Morning Offering. It’s a little different from Dad’s, but it serves the same purpose: it consecrates my day to the Lord.

Eternal Word, Only begotten Son of the Father, Teach me true generosity. Teach me to serve as you deserve: To give without counting the cost. To fight, heedless of the wounds, To labor without seeking rest, To sacrifice myself without the thought of any reward, Except for the knowledge that I have done your will. Amen.
—attributed to Saint Ignatius Loyola

Reflection:
I consider the worries that kept me up last night. I see how small they are in the light of this day. I praise God for helping me to put things in proper perspective. I find my own favorite morning offering. I can use a popular version from a prayer book, or I could compose my own. I make it a daily ritual to pray this prayer. While pledging to give all that I am to God’s will this day, I offer everything: my work, my family, my life, back to God. I place it all under God’s care.

Fr. Mark E. Thibodeaux
God, I have issues : 50 ways to pray no matter how you feel