Saturday, August 12, 2006A gift to God
My morning Consecration prayer goes like this:
"Oh my God, I offer You all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day. For all the intentions of Thy Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of the Holy Father, and the intentions of all our family. Amen."
It occured to me that I have been slipping into thinking this prayer is my "cover all" for those moments I forget to pray, etc. And it is in a way. Especially for mothers whose daily lives and everything they DO is a prayer in and of itself. But it's too easy to make the mistake of praying this prayer and letting your day "happen". What is a Morning Offering? It is a promise of a gift. You are GIVING your prayers, works, joys and sufferings to God... insignificant though they may be... because it is all that is in our capacity as humans to give (besides Love) Him who has need of nothing.
When I give a gift to my friend or child or brother, do I give it and say "Well, I want you to know that this cost me a lot of money..." or "I went through a lot of trouble for you here" or "Here... I hope you're happy now."
Harsh words and feelings ruin a gift. How many times have you been given a "gift" accompanied by a guilt trip? I'm sad to say I've both given and received such "gifts"... which end up feeling more like tokens of misery and selfish intentions. It feels terrible to receive something from someone who was bitter about giving it.
And so it is with a Morning Consecration sometimes. I offer God my works (i.e. my diaper changes, my dishes, my errands, etc. ) and sufferings (i.e. the unexpected bill in the mail, the broken favorite dish, the splitting headache, etc.) but what kind of sentiment am I attaching to this "gift" I give Him? Do I complain? Whine? Feel sorry for myself all day that I am overworked and underappreciated? Even worrying in the extreme can ruin our "gifts" to Our Savior.
And so, I write this now, in order to help myself be more accountable. We shouldn't take such a passive approach to our days by thinking we made it holy by a morning prayer. We should always, always be thinking about these "gifts" to the Father and focusing on giving them with love and serenity... rather than a groan and an angry self-pity. Otherwise what kind of gift would that be?