About three months ago, I began to say the morning prayers. I had been thinking about it for about a year and I decided that I wanted to begin this “devotion” in mid-January to February. I don’t recall exactly when I began praying them but at first, it was a bit difficult.
Mid-lent, I imagined that I would never been able to keep up with this. While on my knees reciting them, I tried to see myself as an old woman reciting my morning prayers. Would I really be able to keep up with such a devotion? Am I strong enough? Lord, grant me the endurance to keep reciting them!
And here we are on May 1 where I am still praying them and over the past two to three days realized that I have become subject to the prayers. What I mean by that is, I am now seeing the areas in which I am failing to do good. It’s almost as if it’s a morning “examination of conscience,” which makes little sense if you do the evening prayers because you do an examination of conscience before bed.
I haven’t been able to add the evening prayers yet. My evenings are usually busy as this is the time I reserve for my daily rosary and reading a saint books with my middle child. My rosary time is usually heavily interrupted with kids declining bedtime, wanting a shower even though we reminded them 30 min ago it was their last chance and sometimes I help with putting the kids to bed (although this is hubby’s area since he hasn’t had much time with them throughout the day). Sometimes, I delay my rosary to pray it together with my middle child. This isn’t my favorite because he likes to lead and often doesn’t realize he skips a Hail Mary or two.
I very much enjoy my morning prayers now. It’s my “alone time” with God where I can be solely focused on him. I don’t usually wake up with a wandering mind and I can really concentrate on being one with my Creator and offering up to Him. If my body wishes to sleep longer, my morning prayers become interrupted as well with the little ones stumbling down the stairs, the annoying sound of my dogs paw nails clicking on the wood floors while she begs to be let outside, and sometimes the kids turn on their devices and I hear songs and/or disagreements depending on whose pad is charged or not.
I long for this time but my body sometimes doesn’t want to give it. I realize that’s normal and I just want my body to freely want this time because in the beginning, it really was a fight to get my body out of bed, retrieve my Missal, get on my nearly 50 year-old knees on thin carpet in front of our home altar and pray. Sometimes I wanted to skip the Litany but I refused…most days.
What I have found today though, is that the morning prayers are beginning to change my life. These prayers are giving me joy and comfort I have not experienced. It’s a peace and reassurance that is difficult to describe and I do not look at them as just “another thing” I need to do in my day. When I do that, when I feel I am obligated to do that instead of desiring with my heart to say them, I will know there is something wrong.
I should never look at any prayer or Mass as just an obligation. That’s living more as a slave rather than living for my Creator. If it feels like an obligation, I shouldn’t do them. I want to continue to strive to do better in the areas that are mentioned in the morning prayers, “to be mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable and resigned. Incline my heart to keep thy commandments.”
There is so much more to these prayers. I recommend everyone begin their day with 10 minutes or longer of prayer but if you can’t, start with just the Sign of the Cross at waking. You will find that as you put God at the forefront of your thoughts as often as you can, He will be there more and more often in your thoughts. It’s definitely hard at first to remember but you and your soul will be the better for it.