Holy Rule for May 7
Deo gratias: Bea, for whom we prayed a few weeks ago for serious
complications surrounding knee replacement surgery, is up and doing well. Now, however,
she has a new illness to face: colon cancer. She has had surgery and is now
in the wait and see stage. Prayers, please, for Evelyn, who is due to see a
specialist tomorrow about a torn ligament in her shoulder which has been giving
her a great deal of pain and continual sleepless nights.
Prayers for Carol and all teachers. The last two months of the school year
can get wild and crazy, with the kids so anxious to get out for the summer.
Grace and strength and patience for all, students and teachers alike! Prayers
for Tom, a catechist who has been out of work since November, married, 3 kids
to support and has 2 interviews this week. Lord, help us all as You know and
will. God's will is best. All is mercy and grace. God is never absent, praise
Him! Thanks so much. JL
January 6, May 7, September 6
So we have asked the Lord
who is to dwell in His tent,
and we have heard His commands
to anyone who would dwell there;
it remains for us to fulfill those duties.
Therefore we must prepare our hearts and our bodies
to do battle under the holy obedience of His commands;
and let us ask God
that He be pleased to give us the help of His grace
for anything which our nature finds hardly possible.
And if we want to escape the pains of hell
and attain life everlasting,
then, while there is still time,
while we are still in the body
and are able to fulfill all these things
by the light of this life,
we must hasten to do now
what will profit us for eternity.
The first section of the Prologue asked us to seek God's blessing
before doing any work. Today we are asked to prepare our hearts and
bodies for the struggles ahead and ask God for His help. Both of
these precepts are quite nicely filled by making the Morning
Offering. Now I know that is a Roman Catholic prayer, and I also know
we have (thanks be to God!) many Oblates of other faiths among us.
Bear with me, please. I think this has applications for everyone.
The morning offering is considered rather passe in some Roman
Catholic circles. One actually wonders why, in an age that loves
computers with tons of memory, hard drives that do all the work for
us, even more work than our own minds could dream of doing.
I have 12,400 names in a data base I built on royal genealogy, a favorite
hobby. One click and a few seconds will tell me how any two of them
are related, even up to mind-boggling relationships like eighteenth
cousin three times removed. It will start at a point like that and
then list all lesser relationships, until common ancestors are all
depleted. No way I could EVER do that. The morning offering, however,
makes computer ability look like shooting fish in a barrel.
The morning offering is the perfect capstone, cornerstone and
beginning for a great life of intercessory prayer. It unites the
poverty of our own lives, prayers, works, joys and sufferings with
those of Christ, with those of His Mystical Body. It plunges the
finite smallness of our own actions into sea after sea of infinite
grace and perfection and, wrapped in that awesome completeness,
offers them to the Father in the perhaps most perfect personal gift
we could ever hope for that day, short of martyrdom itself.
Ever forget to pray during the day? The morning offering makes our
very heartbeats and breathing prayers, means of grace for ourselves
and for all. We have offered ALL our works, even the unconscious ones
of our bodies to God, and we have offered them in union with the most
perfect sacrifice of Jesus. With a gift tag like that, the Father is
quite likely to be pleased, indeed. Each time we blink, or eat,
suffer or rejoice, we link that to Christ on His Cross. None of us
have enough bytes of memory to really do that (I have forgotten about
it at least three times while writing this sentence!) The morning
offering is our "hard drive" it is the program that saves to disk and
Our baptism into the Mystical Body gives us the right to plug into
that infinite worth. It would be a shame if we missed the
opportunity. Let me tell you, with complete sincerity, that all the
works of my entire life couldn't save a flea from drowning in a
raindrop. No way. Buried within the depths of Christ, however, their
value becomes literally infinite.
Ever feel bad that you forgot to pray for some one who asked, or only
whispered a quick: "Lord, help her."? The morning offering makes our
life and our prayer an infinite pie, one which can never be sliced
too thin. Counting huge groups and individuals, I pray every single
day for literally billions of people and not one of them is short-
changed at all. That's the marvel of uniting our lives and heart
daily to Christ. Every slice of the pie gets served on the plate of
His infinity, every single one. Cloaked in the perfect mercy and
offering of Jesus, every single act, even the keys I just struck and
the mouse I just moved are wonderful prayers for all, for everyone
throughout time. That's not shabby, folks!
Ever wish that your heart prone to largesse had all the money in the
world? How generous you would be! But, with the morning offering, you
have daily more than that. Claim your infinite share and spread it
around! Name people and groups, sure, but know that God has a memory
that never quits. You can say: for all people in all time" and it
WILL count! Heavens, I pray for all Oblates (among lots of other
groups every day. Not only could I not name them, I don't even know
them, nor is it possible for ANYONE to know them all throughout time.
But God does, and it counts!) There is no one reading this for whom I
have not prayed every single day, many by name, but it doesn't
matter. God is my hard drive! I have prayed for the next new guest
who arrives for a first visit for literally years, every single day.
The morning offering is a very neat method!
Look, folks, it's a Roman Catholic prayer. I'll give you a version of
it at the end of this post, but there are many others. I KNOW that
some of our Oblates from other Churches may have to amend it a bit
and that's OK, go for what God and your heart allows. I think,
however, that all Christians could agree on at least these
essentials. (Someone please correct me here, if I am wrong.) Offer
all your prayers, works, joys and sufferings in union with those of
Christ, for the intentions of Christ, for all the Church and its
leaders, for all people throughout time. Say it any way your heart
allows, but do at least this much and congratulations: you have just
thrust your own prayers and works and joys and sufferings into the
very heart of the Cosmos, into the whole of history itself. You now
stand beside Christ in HIS perfect work in every age. WOOOOF!
And, if today is your first morning offering, or your first in some
time, make it a habit to pray for all Benedictines each day!
Love and prayers,
O my Jesus, I offer You this day my prayers, works, joys and
suffering, for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart and Divine
Mercy, in union with every sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world
and with all the prayers, works, joys and sufferings of Your Mystical
Body throughout time, in reparation for our sins and in thanksgiving
for all Your benefits. I offer them for the Pope and all Church
leaders, for the unity of all Christians.
(Now you can add your own intentions- don't be stingy here, you have
infinity! I always end my own list with: for everyone and everything
throughout time, created by Your hands, I offer You my life, in
holocaust for these and for Your will for them.)
End with: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto
Yours. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You.
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