Vatican II and Offering Up

As I was praying the Divine Office or Breviary this morning, I was happy to see something in the second reading of the Office of Readings. That reading was an excerpt from the Vatican Council II's pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world, "Gaudium et Spes" (#37 and 38). The reading talked about the new commandment of love which Jesus gave us and went on to say:

Jesus "assures those who have faith in God's love that the way of love is open to all men, and that the effort to restore universal brotherhood is not in vain. At the same time he warns us that this love is not to be sought after only in great things but also, and above all, in the ordinary circumstances of life. ... Yet he makes us all free, so that, by denying their love of self and taking up all earth's resources into the life of man, all may reach out to the future, when humanity itself will become an offering acceptable to God."

The is the "Offering Spirituality" of the Apostleship of Prayer. Jesus offered himself to the Father. He wants to join all creation to himself and to his perfect offering. We are part of that creation and we strive to join everything--every moment of the day, every work and prayer, every thought and feeling, every breath and heart beat, everything we touch and influence by our actions, all of the creation that we are and that surrounds us--to Jesus' perfect offering.

As the document says, this offering is an act of love that "is not to be sought after only in great things but also, and above all, in the ordinary circumstances of life."

This is the meaning of the daily or morning offering prayer that we commit ourselves to praying and living.