Praying in the Morning and at Night

Father Girardey continues his discussion of when one ought to pray. Here he mentions morning and night prayer.

It is appropriate to pray in the morning, as we read in the Psalms: “To Thee O God, will I pray in the morning. Thou shalt hear my voice. In the morning I will stand before Thee” (Ps 5:4), and “It is good to give praise to the Lord, . . . and to show forth Thy mercy in the morning” (Ps 91:2-3).

St. Ambrose says: “We owe to God the first affections of our heart, the first sound of our voice, the first words of our lips.” And St. John Climacus says, “We should give to God the first fruits of the day, and the whole day will belong to God.” Father Girardey adds: “It is meet that we should give to the Almighty, our Creator and Sovereign Lord, our first thoughts of the day, thanking Him for having preserved us during the night, and asking Him to bless, help and protect us during the day, and making Him an offering of ourselves and of all our thoughts and actions of the day which has just begun.”

It is appropriate to pray at night before retiring. St. Bernard says: “Suppose you had been blind, deaf and dumb, or a cripple, and a certain physician had, with a wonderful remedy, cured you instantaneously. How grateful you would be to so great a benefactor, when on the night after your cure, you would lay down to rest for the first time in your life in perfect health! And now how can you retire to rest without thanking God, who on that day and every day of your life has given you sight, hearing, speech and the use of your limbs, life and health, and provided you with food and all the other necessaries of life? When you give a small alms to a very needy person, he does not go away without thanking you. And God has fed you and provided for your wants all the day long, and, moreover, to Him you owe all you have and all you are.”

Father Girardey adds: “The spirit of charity, union and concord reigns in the families that say their prayers together every night. Moreover, experience proves that a special blessing of God dwells in such families and in each of its members.”

Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).

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