through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,joys and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.
1-2. O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. You might think it odd to ask Jesus something via Mary. And while that’s certainly not the only way to get His attention, it certainly works. Who better to ask than the person who knew Him best? Perhaps asking for the help of the Immaculate Heart of Mary can make our hearts a little closer to immaculate.
3. I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day. When I say this prayer, I’m offering God everything, from holding the door for the little old lady to cursing under my breath at the coworker who drives me crazy. Reminding myself of this helps me give Him things that are worth offering.
4. for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart. Does Jesus have intentions? Jesus is fully human as well as fully divine. Thus, he understands what it’s like to pray for something, to feel that only God can help you (read about the Agony in the Garden if you don’t believe me).
5. in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. Want to hear a fun fact about Catholicism? The Mass is always being celebrated somewhere in the world! And no matter who you are, even if you don’t speak the language, you’re welcome there. That’s always been impressive to me; we really are a universal church. So when I unite my prayers with the Mass, I’m uniting my prayers not just with my own church community, but Masses all over the world. WOW!
6. in reparation for my sins. This was a line I struggled to remember when I was first learning this prayer. My what now? Sins? Oh yeah, I guess I have those. What are they, you ask? Uh… hey, look, a bird! But our sins are things we must remember and always try to atone for. When I’m talking to God, I can’t just hand him a list of requests as if I’m the bride and he’s the DJ at my wedding reception. I need to address all my faults and failures and attempt to do better.
7. for the intentions of all my relatives and friends. I love this line. I always have a long list of things that people I know both in real life and via the internet have asked me to pray for, and while I list them all individually when I’m praying at Mass, it’s nice to have a catch-all for days when I don’t have a lot of time to pray.
8. and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. The guy who’s in charge of the entire church has some serious responsibility, and I don’t envy him one bit. If there’s anything he thinks important enough to take to the Almighty, it’s important enough for me to remember in prayer too.