Friday, May 19, 2006

The "Heroic Minute"

Many good Christians develop the habit of giving their first though of the day to God. The "heroic minute" follows: it facilitates the Morning Offering and getting the day off to a good start. The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and ... up. The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body. If, with God's help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day.

It's so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish. (Josemaria Escriva, The Way)

Although we don't have to follow any particular formula when saying the Morning Offering, it's good to opt for some habitual way of living this practice of piety. Some people like to recite some simple prayer they learned as children or as adults...

Apart from the Morning Offering, it's up to each of us to decide what other prayers we'd like to say when we get up: perhaps some other prayer to our Lady and a prayer to St. Joseph and to our Guardian Angel. It's also a good moment to call to mind the resolutions we made at the examination of conscience the previous night, asking God for the grace to put them into effect that day.

Almighty Lord and God, protect us by your power throughout the course of this day, even as you have enabled us to begin it: do not let us turn aside to any sin, but let our every thought, word and deed aim at doing what is pleasing in your sight. (Divine office, Morning prayer, Monday, Week 2)
Why is it that getting up on time should be so very difficult? It truly is a heroic thing for me. The times that I really concentrate on this, I usually have to ask my Guardian Angel to help me remember to get up. It works every time ... but of course you have to keep wanting to get up in the morning!

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