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At the Start of Another Day

When one wakes up in the morning still in familiar surroundings, at the exact same place where he lay down to sleep the previous night, he realizes happily that he is still alive. Somewhere some people were not granted to wake up that morning, which most probably they did not expect nor want.

And if one said a prayer or some similar "Good Night" consigning himself to the great love and mercy of God as he sleeps, the first act one is expected to take after realizing he is still alive is to get down on his knees and thank God for the gift of life and to ask Him to stay with him . . .  for yet another day!

The end of the previous day is past and a new day has begun! We are given only one day at a time!

Some people start the day with various forms of the Morning Prayer or Offering, but one excellent prayer to add to this is "The Jesus Prayer," which says: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" It is for me,  a re-expression of the "Miserere Mei, Deus," put into an excellent plaintive hymn one can pray and listen to to end one's day and to accompany him into the night and sleep.

It is said that sleeping at night is a rehearsal for the sleep of death, at which time the soul leaves the body and goes to where it will meet God in particular judgment. We all make that rehearsal daily without our being aware of it.

St. Ignatius of Loyola therefore recommends that once a day, preferably before retiring for the night, we do an "Examen," an examination of conscience, or consciousness, a review of how the good Lord manifested Himself to us in the various events of the day that has passed and how we responded to those moments of grace. The few minutes spent doing the "Examen" are meant to focus our attention to God, to thank Him for His numerous blessings, to express sorrow for our failures, and to plan on how we can do better the next day . . . if we are granted another day.

The Jesus Prayer, prayed with devotion, is an expression of our faith in the Lord Jesus, in His divinity, and our need for His mercy because we are sinners.

Many people make the effort to start their day with Holy Mass. What better way to offer ourselves for the day that is given us, and to take advantage of receiving Him -- Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, for Him to enter "under our roof" despite our unworthiness, and to have a closer personal relationship with Him. Nothing can be more personal than that.

Today is a new day. We can have many plans to do for this day. Whatever those plans are, they must be offered to Him. For our plans can only materialize if He approves or blesses them.

And it is only He who, in His infinite wisdom and love, can decide whether or not this day will be the last day of our lives.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner! #

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