Can getting out of bed in the morning help us be better disciples of Christ? Fr. Mark-Mary explains how.
Have you heard of the heroic moment? It’s the moment right when you wake up in the morning, and the decision that accompanies it: the alarm clock. Do you get up, or hit snooze? The reason getting up first thing is something heroic is because we’re using the first moment of our day to exercise our will. Not only does this help us practice prudence, but it also helps us make sure we’re starting our day in the right direction.
This may seem like a simple task, but the other reason it’s called a heroic moment is that it’s actually really hard to do! We instinctively do whatever pleases us in the moment, and most of the time, hitting the snooze button and getting more sleep feels like the right thing to do. But if we use the first moments of our day to choose the easier path, it may lead us to having a lazy and slothful day, which can put us in a near occasion of sin.
So how do we train our wills towards the heroic moment? Try this: make your bed in the morning. Father calls this the “mercy moment.” It’s a lot easier to make your bed once you’re already up than it is to actually get up, so the mercy moment provides us with a second chance to seize the day, and orient it towards the good.
Once we begin to focus our day and take control of our wills in small ways, we’ll find it easier to do so in larger ways, like spending intentional time in prayer, or going out of our way to help someone. It requires discipline to follow Christ, and if making our bed in the morning will help cultivate a life of discipline, the extra 10 seconds are more than worth it.
Meet Fr. Mark-Mary
Father Mark-Mary was ordained as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal (CFR) in 2018 and lives at a friary in the Bronx.
The mission of the CFRs is to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus through fidelity to the Church and her Sacraments. Paired with their commitment to prayer, contemplation, and study of Sacred Scripture, the CFRs serve those around them, especially the poor, in the footsteps of Christ.
Discover beautiful music from the CFRs and Fr. Mark-Mary’s book Habits for Holiness: Small Steps for Spiritual Progress, both available from Ascension.