“Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a set time, without granting a single minute to laziness. If, with the help of God, you conquer yourself in that moment, you’ll have accomplished a great deal for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find yourself beaten in the first skirmish!”
St. Jose Maria Escriva
St. Jose Maria Escriva was describing what just about every life coach, success writer and solopreneur is stressing right now, and that is our morning routine. Pick up any business magazine, listen to any entrepreneurial podcast or browse the self-help section at a local bookstore, and you will see plenty of resources about our morning routines. I recently read an entire book on the topic of highly successful peoples’ morning routine. Turns out just about every single generation billionaire, someone who made their fortune and did not inherit it, wakes up before 5am. Most of them wake up before 4:30am and have a two hour morning routine that makes most peoples’ entire day look lazy. Now I have no desire to be a billionaire. I am not passionate about making money, but I am passionate about my singular life goal of going to heaven and bringing as many people with me as possible. So, for this reason, I am very interested in the methods successful people use to win in their arena.
Regardless of whether your goal is to be a billionaire or if you are like me and hope to die penniless, out of breath, tired and bleeding for the work of the Kingdom, then you need to gain victory in the mornings. St. Jose Maria Escriva calls it the “heroic minute”, knowing that winning that first part of the day is usually the secret to winning the whole day. I have found this to be the case of a life committed to holiness. I think the thousands of years of Monastic tradition prove this to be true as well.
So if you are committed to being a Saint and, I hope you are, how does your morning routine contribute to the battle for holiness? I’ll share how my morning contributes to the battle for the day. Please understand what I am presenting to you is an ideal. It is common for it to go this way but certainly not every day.
I regularly begin my day 5:30am and upon opening my eyes I pray:
“Thank you Lord for you new Mercies today. With a deliberate act of my will, I surrender this day to you entirely. I ask only for the Grace to follow you faithfully.”
Upon rising I recite the following two devotional prayers:
Morning Warfare Prayer by Dave VanVickle
Oh Jesus, in the presence of the Angels and Saints I willingly take up the call of the Church Militant. I renounce Satan, Sin, Pride and Evil. I take up Faith, Hope Love, Courage, Humility, Fortitude Prayer and Sacrifice as my weapons. Let me repel evil and attract goodness. Put fire in my eyes, clarity in my mind, desire in my heart, and holy wind on my lips. Let my efforts be fruitful and my motives be pure. Let your Angels be my comrades. Let the Saints be my support. Give me orders and send me into battle. I go now under the mantle of the Virgin Mary. I proceed in the Sacred Sign of the Cross. Vanquish the Evil One. Tear down his walls. You are the Victor. You are mighty in battle. Amen.
A Father’s Prayer by Dave VanVickle
Lord, Jesus through the powerful intercession of St. Joseph please bless my family with freedom from evil and liberty from sin. Bless and anoint each one of them seal them with your Holy Spirit. Cast far from this family and home any evil spirit. Break any curses, hexes spells or malice directed toward them. Let our relationships reflect the Holy Family. Train our tongues. Set your Angels around each and every one of them at every moment of the day and night. Lord, Jesus you reign in this family and by my authority as Father I invoke your victory over every person in this family and every person who comes in contact with them.
Next, I begin my morning devotions:
Rosary and daily devotional prayers. (Many people like to practice Mental prayer or Christian Meditation first thing in the morning but I find that easier later in the day.) The regular devotions I use come from my personal prayer book: The Lion Roars. Most often I use prayers from the first chapter: Daily Prayers. But I also use several prayers from the chapter on the Spiritual battle.
After I shower I put on my Cross and my Scapular and I pray the following prayers:
“Lord by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us Free. May this Cross be a constant reminder to live in your Freedom.”
“Mother, Mary I am totally yours. As I clothe myself in your garment, I ask for your powerful intercession and protection for the day. Help me to do battle for your Son, Jesus. Please Crush the head of the Serpent seeking to draw me away. This day and all the I am are totally yours.”
Then I spend a quick moment venerating the Cross and the Relics that we have.
This is how I try to sanctify the morning and set the foundation for victory for the day. Do you have a plan? Win the heroic minute and it will affect your whole day.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave VanVickle is a Catholic speaker and writer focusing on the Universal Call to Holiness and Authentic Catholic Spirituality. He is currently employed as the Director of Evangelization for the parishes of the Catholic Community of Wexford, PA.