Your laying in your cozy bed when the alarm suddenly goes off. Whether you realize it or not, this is your first battle of the day. What are your first thoughts? How do you respond? I have to be real, I have snoozed it hard lately. When my alarm goes off, my first thought is how do I turn it off and how much longer can I stay in bed.
If the alarm clock and I were in a battle, I would be losing. To be fair, I don’t actually push snooze, but I do set 5 alarms, and when the first one goes off, I reason to myself that 5 more minutes of sleep won’t hurt anything, and then I continue to rationalize this same thought until I have slept right through the time I set aside for prayer, and a shower, and to eat breakfast and so on.
I have been stuck in an alarm clock rut the last year, and I have a feeling I am not alone in this battle.
When I treat my mornings as a chore rather than an opportunity, I find that I start my days with a foggy mind and lack of purpose. I almost always immediately regret sleeping in, and wish I had woken up with my first alarm.
If I can not be disciplined with something as small as my alarm clock, then how am I going to be disciplined throughout my day? The sobering reality in life is that our wills are weak, and we need the grace of God to do anything good. The routine chiming of our phones, or clock if you still do that, is our first opportunity to combat the desires of the flesh each day, and draw on the power of God to choose a discipline of holiness over the easier choice.
St. Josemaria Escriva addresses this heroic moment, in his book The Way….
Scripture asks us to, “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col 3:2). This verse rattles around in my brain often as I consider my actions and thoughts on any given day, but its direct application in my morning routine is still a new discipline.
If you are interested in arming your self with words to face these heroic moments, it is my pleasure to provide some suggestions.
The phrase or thought that accompanies your holy minute can be a declaration of truth, petition, or praise and thanksgiving. You can look for solid quotes from scripture or saints, or a current point of teaching or meditation in your life. This is a little different than a morning offering, think of it rather as a holy reflex to the alarm clock. Whichever phrase you choose try and stick with one sentiment for a while and let it sink deep to transform your days. I also suggest saying it aloud.
Declarations of Truth
I surrender this day anew to you.
Serviam! – Latin for “I will serve!”
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.” – Psalm 118:24
Lord, one more day to love you! -Brother Charles de Foucauld
“More of you Lord, and less of me.” -Mark 1:7
I am yours, hide me in Your Love.
Lord, help me to love and serve you today.
Jesus, shine through me and be so in me that every person I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul. -John Henry Cardinal Newman
Praise and thanksgiving
Blessed be the God of all creation.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made… when I awake, I am still with you.” Ps 139
“My God, my all.”- St. Francis of Assisi
So lets wake up with purpose and realize the gift of a new day. Let’s allow ourselves to be completely loved in that first moment.
Do you have any suggestions for a morning prayer? Other possible phrases and honorable mentions.
- Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Ps 51:12
- Guide me, Holy Spirit.
- Jesus, help me to see You in everyone and everything I meet today.
- My Lord, grant that I may love Thee, and that the reward of my love may be to love Thee ever more and more.
- I am a daughter/son of the most high king.
- You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you…”- Ps 63
- Make me an instrument of peace.
- “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.”-Ps 84:10
- Jesus, I trust in You!
This post originally began in 7QTs format, but slowly evolved to be different. Nevertheless, check out Kelly at This Aint the Lyceum for more more quick takes.