Daily morning offering keeps us present in a broken world

The poet Mary Oliver wrote this: “It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.”
Consider all she packs into that statement. It’s great to be alive, but it’s serious. The morning is fresh, perhaps glorious, but the world is broken. What will I do with this gift of my life on this day? How will I help to heal brokenness?
It’s important to wake up to a morning offering. We learned this in our Catholic childhood, but it’s not a childish thing. In truth, I find that it orients my entire day and makes a difference in my attitude.
There are many ways to make an offering of your day, many beautiful prayers. But sometimes a line as simple as Oliver’s fits the bill. She has always been a poet who helps lead me to prayer.
Another line I love comes from Vinita Hampton Wright, who is a writer and editor at Loyola Press. She wrote a lovely piece entitled “Love as If. . .” which you can google. Her first line is one I’ve memorized: “Love as if loving is the first thing on your to-do list. . .”
I am a scrupulous list maker, one who writes things down and triumphantly crosses them off when accomplished. What if the first thing, every day, was to love. To be kind to your spouse as they leave for work. To put the phone down and listen to your child at breakfast, to call or write a friend, smile at the people at the coffee shop or pay some generous attention to the boring guy at the water cooler. To think of ways to be outside of your own brokenness.
The morning offering brings you into the immediacy of the world as it is, hurting and in need of God. Among my religious pet peeves are the homilists who emphasize what I like to call “pie in the sky when you die” religion, as if you can follow a private, personal route to glory.
As Christians, we believe in the promise of eternal life. We have no clue what it will look like, but we trust a merciful God. And we know Jesus spoke of the promise of redemption.
But in Scripture we find a Jesus who fully lived this life, in this world, loving and dining with his friends, confronting his foes, teaching people how to live here, now, always with the expectation that with faith we would be cared for, now and later. Christianity is an earthy, communal religion.
Two friends of mine point the way for me. One, an elderly Servite nun, marched at Selma. After the first round of protestors was beaten on the Edmund Pettis Bridge, the call went out for religious leaders to show up. The bishop in her diocese asked her religious community, which was semi-cloistered, to travel to Selma. She jumped at the chance, and you can find pictures of her order, in heavy black serge habits, sitting near the bridge.
The experience led to her dedication to social justice and healing the racism endemic in our nation and Church.
Another friend has been diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. Her attitude is one of gratitude for her life and trust that God is with her in the struggle no matter the outcome. I see in her an example of genuine faith.
It’s such a blessing to wake up to one more day. It’s a priceless gift to journey with Jesus and towards Jesus as he is still alive in this broken world.


'Daily morning offering keeps us present in a broken world'
has no comments

Be the first to comment on this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

Copyright © 2021 Catholic Anchor Online - All Rights Reserved