The reflection last Saturday morning at the regular Men’s Morning of Recollection in our parish was on the concept of dailyness and the need for us to regain the concept in our lives. What is “dailyness”? The Scriptures repeatedly emphasize our need to focus on today—not yesterday, and not tomorrow.
Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. 1
Give us this day our daily bread. 2
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day. 3
Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 4
If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 5
God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? 6
The speaker on Saturday began the talk with the “morning offering” prayer. I thought doing so was appropriate because it is, in fact, an important daily spiritual practice. Although there are many variations on the prayer, the concept is to begin each day by offering it entirely to God. This is the prayer that I say every day when I get dressed:
My God, I offer You all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for all the intentions for which He pleads and offers Himself in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in thanksgiving for Thy favors, in reparation for my sins, and in humble supplication for my temporal and eternal welfare, for the wants of our holy Mother the Church, for the conversion of sinners, and for the relief of the poor souls in purgatory.
You can find a morning offering prayer that you like, or you can make up your own. The point is to offer your day to God. There is power in this simple intentionality. As the spiritual author David Torkington writes, the morning offering transforms the ordinary.
The reflection also referenced the concept of daily practice, especially of foundational skills. Just as the athlete must practice the basic skills of his sport every day, or the pianist must practice the piano daily, the saint-in-the-making must practice the spiritual fundamentals every day.
Even if one does not subscribe to Gladwell’s “10,000 hours of practice” to become an expert theory, “the point is simply that natural ability requires a huge investment of time in order to be made manifest.” Prayer is difficult, and requires practice.
The reflection and ensuing discussion led me to think about dailyness from the perspective of the daily fundamentals of the Christian life of faith and the need for us to practice the fundamentals every day. How much time are you spending every day to improve your prayer life as a Christian? If you need 10,000 hours of prayer to become an expert, how far are you along in that process? 7
The discussion about sports fundamentals also brought to mind a recent dream. In the dream, I was a professional football player for the Green Bay Packers. 8 In uniform, I was sent into the game to play tight end. When I arrived in the huddle the quarterback called the play. I then had the horrifying realization that I did not know what I was supposed to do. I did not know the playbook. I woke up. The first thing I heard in my spirit when I woke up was, “you are not studying the playbook because you do not believe you will be put in the game.”
While this dream has given me much to think about and continues to motivate me in my spiritual life, I think this is a cautionary warning to all of us. We are all “saints-in-the-making.” The process of our sanctification takes a lifetime, and it takes place through dailyness. What we do each and every day matters!
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” 9
God loves you and wants to put you in the game. He wants to use you right where you are, in the concrete circumstances of your life. But you need to study the playbook! Read the Bible. Spend time daily in prayer with the Lord. Wherever you are in the spiritual life, today is a good day to give yourself entirely to God.
This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 10
Eric A. Welter is an employment lawyer and trial attorney with a long-time devotion to intercessory prayer. He is a Catholic Christian who has been involved with intercessory and healing prayer ministry for over twenty years. The Abound in Hope Ministry website is https://www.aboundinhope.org/ministry.