By Francis Fernandez-Carvajal
2/79.1 Through our Morning Offering we offer God our day from the very beginning. It is our first prayer.
God has given us days and nights so that we may order our lives. Each day echoes its secret to the next, each night passes on to the next its revelation of knowledge. As we leave behind the previous day, each new day reminds us that we must continue the work which night interrupted, and carry on with our projects and hopes. Man goes forth to his work and to his labour until the evening; then night comes, and with a kindly smile bids us put away all the toys we poor mortals make such a fuss over; shuts our books for us, hides our distractions from us, draws a great black coverlet over our lives ... As the darkness closes round us, we go through a dress-rehearsal of death; soul and body say good night to one another ... And then morning comes, and with morning, a re-birth.
Each day, in a certain sense, begins with a birth and ends with a death; each day is a life in miniature. In the final analysis, our journey through the world will have been holy and pleasing to God if we have tried to ensure that each day was pleasing to God, from sunrise to sunset. The same can be said for the night, because we offer that to God also. ‘Today’ is the only time we can offer to God. Each day echoes its secret to the next; yesterday whispers to today, and on God’s behalf says to us: begin well. Do your duty ‘now’, without looking back on ‘yesterday’, which has already passed, or worrying over ‘tomorrow’, which may never come for you. Yesterday has disappeared forever, with all its possibilities and all its dangers. All that remains are reasons for contrition for the things we didn’t do well, and reasons for gratitude for the countless graces, benefits and attention we have received from God. And ‘tomorrow’ is still in our Lord’s hands.
What we must sanctify is the present day. And how are we going to do that if we don’t start by offering it to God? It is only those who don’t know God and lukewarm Christians who start their day off in any old way. The Morning Offering is an act of piety which focuses the day properly from the outset, directing it towards God just as a compass points towards the north pole. Our Morning Offering disposes us to listen to the Holy Spirit, and to heed the many inspirations and graces he sends us throughout the day. If you should hear his voice this day, harden not your hearts. And God does talk to us each day.
Let us tell our Lord that we want to serve him this day, that we want to be conscious of his presence. Renew your decision each morning, with a very determined ‘Serviam’, I will serve you, Lord. Renew your resolution not to give in, not to give way to laziness or idleness; to face up to your duties with greater hope and more optimism, convinced that if we are defeated in some small skirmish we can overcome this setback by making a sincere act of love.
Our actions will be all the more pleasing in the eyes of God if our offering is made through his Mother, who is also our Mother. Try to put whatever you wish to offer to God into the hands of Mary – her hands are most gracious and worthy of all esteem – so that your offering will be happily accepted by our Lord.
 Ps 18:2
 R.A. Knox, A Retreat for Lay People, pp.21-22
 St. J. Escrivá, The Way, 253
 Ps 94:7-8
 St. J. Escrivá, Friends of God, 217
 St Bernard, Homily on the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 18
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rev. Francis Fernandez-Carvajal
Rev. Francis Fernández-Carvajal is a Priest of the Opus Dei Prelature and the author of many popular spiritual works. His seven-volume series In Conversation with God provides over 500 meditations to be used throughout the liturgical year. It has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into many languages.