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Scott P. Richert

Reader Question: How Do You "Offer It Up"?

By November 16, 2007

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A reader writes:

In a recent article you mentioned "offering up" your struggles. How do you do this? What kind of things do you say or do to "offer up" the struggles? Are there certain prayers that you use?

It's a very good question. In the most general sense, any prayer or intention to "offer it up" is sufficient. Simply stop at a moment of stress, or as you enter into a situation that you know will be stressful, and make the Sign of the Cross and say something like, "O Jesus, I offer up my struggles and sacrifices today for the relief of the Holy Souls in Purgatory."

A better way, though, is to memorize a Morning Offering (or to keep a copy of it near your bed), and to say it when you first wake up. Traditionally, the Morning Offering, along with the Our Father and the Act of Faith, the Act of Hope, and the Act of Charity, were the centerpieces of Catholic morning prayers. In the Morning Offering, we dedicate our entire day to God, and we promise to offer up our sufferings throughout the day for the souls in Purgatory.

You can find a traditional form of the Morning Offering here, but there are many others; any good Catholic prayerbook will have at least one.

If you have a question that you would like to have featured in our "Reader Questions" series, send me an e-mail at catholicism.guide@about.com. Be sure to put "QUESTION" in the subject line, and please note whether you'd like me to address it privately or on the Catholicism blog.

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November 28, 2007 at 11:37 pm
(1) Thompson Debord says:

What a delightfully pagan notion!

April 21, 2010 at 12:32 am
(2) JoeDr says:

Explore the concept and the practice Mr. Debord; you may get a clue.

September 19, 2012 at 11:13 am
(3) Jared B. says:

Whenever someone claims a Catholic practice is “pagan”, my typical response is “Please identify the pagan culture we borrowed that from.” Most pagan cultures throughout the world have believed in honoring the dead, with the notion that we the living benefit from the spirits of the dead (or at the very least, that we want to be left alone by them!) The idea that the dead are in dire need of our help is for the most part a Christian invention.

November 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm
(4) Kiril Wolf says:

Hmmm. Interesting. Never thought about that.

November 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm
(5) Gregory says:

“What a delightfully pagan notion.”

Actually, Mr. Debord, this one we got wholesale from Judaism!

January 29, 2014 at 1:02 pm
(6) gabrielle says:

I was wondering if in addition to offering up your suffering for the poor souls, can a Catholic also offer up our personal sufferings to assist a living person through something difficult or as an offering to God? Thank you!!

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