The first time I heard the song “Morning Has Broken,” I thought it was so very beautiful. I heard the song at a mass at Mater Dolorosa at one of their fiestas.
The song talks about praise in the morning:
“Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise of the morning!”
Since the beginning of the year, I have been working to create a habit of prayer for the first thing in the morning. I was able to do this for a couple months, but then somehow the habit just fell away.
Well, today, I resolved to start again with that resolution. Before I got up today, I prayed to the Holy Spirit for inspiration. I immediately thought of the “Morning Has Broken” song and how birds wake up very early in the morning to sing. It’s like they’re praising God for the morning.
This weekend, I had realized that I have not really spend much time reflecting on the word of God and praising God. What I have been doing with bible study time has been more rote and out of a sense of duty. But, I’d like to be like the birds who are up at the break of dawn and singing their hearts out with PRAISE.
I do have faith in God. I attend mass. I’ve attended religious education. I have memorized prayers. I have taught religious education. I have gone several times to The Los Angeles Archdiocese Religious Education Congress. I have a certificate in Bible Studies, but I know that my faith can be stronger.
I know that I can learn to trust more and that I can surrender more. Sometimes, I have an idea to do something or to not do something and later I realized that it was the Holy Spirit trying to guide my actions. I think if I were more trusting, I would follow that inspiration more often and more quickly.
Though I am familiar with the parables of the bible and certain phrases from the bible, I haven’t really memorized certain bible verses that I would like to memorize. I think that by memorizing certain verses, God’s word will penetrate my heart more. I would like a faith that’s more in touch with my heart.
Mary’s faith penetrated her heart. She knew the Hebrew scriptures by heart. Mary knew the Hebrew scriptures so well that her Magnificat references several verses from the Old Testament.
Here are some of the scriptures Mary referenced:Old TestamentMagnificat Luke 1:46-55Then I will rejoice in the LORD, exult in God’s salvation. Psalm 35:9My spirit rejoices in God my savior. Luke 1:47But the Lord’s mercy is from age to age, toward those who fear him. Psalm 103:17His mercy is from age to age to those hwo fear him. Luke 1:50For he satisfied the thirsty, filled the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9The hungry he has filled with good things. Luke 1:53
At the very end of her Canticle, Mary references God’s promise to Abraham: “He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” Luke 1:54-55
According to U.S. Catholic, “Mary stands in the long Jewish tradition of female singers, from Miriam with her tambourine (Exod. 15:2-21) to Deborah (Judg. 5:l-31.), Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1-10), and judith (Jdt. 16:1-17), who also sang songs of salvation, victory songs of the oppressed.”
Mary, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, and Judith praised God from their heart. They knew deeply of God’s salvation that their heart sang about it.
My learning of the bible has been more academic and now I’d like to focus on studying the bible so that the teachings of the bible are in my heart. I am a long way off from Mary, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, and Judith. But, my resolve is now a deeper commitment of bible study so that it seeps deeply into my heart.
I desire to praise in the morning like the birds with bible study. I open my heart to God’s word.
Will you consider praise in the morning, too?