I’ve been stumbling over the words of the Morning Offering prayer I have said for years. “I offer them for all the intentions of our bishops.” Whoa! Wait! All the intentions? All our bishops? I’ve had to mentally rewrite this, morning after morning.
All the intentions of bishops who are complicit in sex abuse cover-ups? Bishops who are not teaching the fullness of the faith? Bishops whose “intention” is to hang on to their offices at all costs? Ok, Lord, how about this? “I offer all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings for all the worthy intentions of Cardinal Farrell? Or maybe, for the ultimate good of Cardinal Baldiserri? Or for the complete conversion* of Cardinal Mahoney?
Maybe I just need a new prayer. So I came up with this:
Dr. J’s Morning Offering:
Dear Lord, I give you thanks and praise for another day in which to serve you.
Shower your blessings on every person who crosses my path or my mind this day.
Please keep me from doing anything mean or stupid.
For the record, here is the traditional Morning Offering that I learned long ago, and have been saying for years. Parts of it, I can still say with complete enthusiasm.
“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world today. *
I offer them for all the intentions of your sacred Heart: the salvation of souls (yes!), reparation for sins (yes!), the reunion of all Christians (yes! yes!)
I offer them for all the intentions of our bishops. (This is the sticking point!) all the Apostles of Prayer (meaning, everyone else who offers this or similar morning offering) and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.”
What is your Morning Prayer?
* Note to my non-Catholic Christian friends: Catholic culture has a long tradition of “offering up” experiences, positive and negative, as a living prayer. The Biblical basis for this practice is Colossians 1:24: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.”
**Please see pages 10-12 of this 13 page letter Richard Sipe sent to San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy in 2016. These pages offer irrefutable evidence of Cardinal Mahoney’s shameless behavior. Add to this, the fact that Archbishop Jose Gomez relieved Cardinal Mahoney of all his duties, and we have a picture of someone who truly needs “complete repentance.”