A while ago I made this half-hearted, ill-fated attempt to write about faith and my faith journeys each Friday…yeah, at least 4 years ago or something like that.
If 2013 taught me anything, it was that faith should not just be practiced, it should be practiced faithfully and it should be shared joyfully. And already 2014 has left me plenty ripe with discussions of where the Holy Spirit is leading me.
Each year I get a Christmas card from the Poor Clare sisters in Spokane, WA including a leaflet from the Apostleship of Prayer including the Papal prayer intentions for each month of the upcoming year. I do my best to remember a Morning Offering each morning and include the Papal prayer intentions as well as a result of getting this each year.
Well, this year, I read the last page and said, “Eh, what the heck, I’ll make it official and actually JOIN the Apostleship of Prayer. And on January 2, 2014, I went online and did just that.
The Morning Offering, or dedicating oneself and all ones works to God daily, is an amazing prayer. I read about it and it’s origins last year in Amy Welborn’s The Words We Pray. I’ve always viewed being a Catholic as having to re-up every single day. And this prayer is the essence of that re-upping. It makes me commit all that I am, all that I do to Christ. It strengthens my weak places of faith at times. It reminds me of who I am and why I am doing “all this.”
Last year, I made special effort to pray for the Papal Intentions in the Morning Offering each day so when Pope Benedict announced his resignation, I felt a sense of calm for and with him as I continued to pray for the intentions he had so carefully chosen. I felt renewed praying them with Pope Francis after his election.
This year, as I went to the Apostleship of Prayer website and joined up, I found there were daily and monthly reflections on the Papal Intentions and even a link for children. I was blown away at what an amazing resource was there. The reflections include prayers and scripture as well as words the Holy Father has spoken regarding these intentions. I find them a beautiful reflection beyond just a general prayer for these particular intentions.
I find that when I dedicate myself daily through the Morning Offering, my day is already improved from what it might have been because I am approaching it with the right outlook. I am God’s and everything I do is for Him. When I include the Holy Father’s intentions, I find I am growing beyond just care for myself and praying that others in our world would dedicate themselves so that these intentions would eventually become unnecessary.
If you already pray the Morning Offering, I would strongly urge you to consider joining the Apostleship of Prayer (it’s free! and you would already be meeting the minimum requirements) and join the many of us already there. In making the act of that individual prayer communal, our voices, our prayers, create an impact beyond what we can see or hear or know.