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Like the First Morning

Like the First Morning

The Morning Offering as a Daily Renewal 

Author: Michael J. Ortiz

Foreword by: Most Rev. William E. Lori

Regular Price: $15.95

Sale Price: $2.00

Format: Paperback

Pages: 192

Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-591-4

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: April 17, 2015

More Prayer and Meditation, Prayer Books and Devotionals, Retreat Resources, Spirituality


In Like the First Morning, acclaimed author and teacher Michael J. Ortiz presents both a literary and a deeply personal approach to the Morning Offering, a popular form of daily prayer practiced by millions of Catholics worldwide. The book reveals the depth of this simple devotion, showing how a daily offering up of prayers, works, joys, and sufferings renews every aspect of life, and inspires the reader to live each day with greater intentionality and joy.

Like the First Morning reflects upon the Morning Offering, a popular and beloved Catholic devotion prayed at the start of each day to consecrate the day to Christ. Michael Ortiz, a religion and English teacher and author of Swan Town, draws from theologians, popes, poets, novelists, philosophers, mystics, and saints to help readers to become more fully aware of the beauty of God’s creation and be more open to his grace.

This unique book of Catholic spirituality consists of fourteen short, lyrical chapters, each centered on a key phrase of the prayer. The fresh approach to this ancient practice will appeal to those who seek inspiration to continue this form of daily prayer, as well as those who are unfamiliar with the devotion who want to deepen their prayer life.

Features & Benefits:

  • Ortiz’s acclaimed previous work, Swan Town, was enthusiastically reviewed in the Washington Post.
  • Ortiz conducts workshops and retreats on the practice of the Morning Offering. The book contains reflection questions and other tools for personal or group retreats.


"Important new book."

"Replete with the wisdom of the saints and Christian writers through the centuries, together with his own experience of discipleship, Michael J. Ortiz, in this important new book, takes the reader through every aspect of the Morning Offering. Once you’ve read it, you’ll never want to begin another day without pausing for a moment to offer your day, through this beautiful and powerful prayer, to God."

Most Rev. William E. Lori
Archbishop of Baltimore
From the Foreword

"Freshness and depth."

"Like the First Morning shows why and how the Mass continues in our daily lives. Using literary, philosophical, and theological references, Michael Ortiz reflects on the Morning Offering prayer, giving it freshness and depth. Thus, he helps us not only to say the words of this traditional prayer, but to pray them as well."

James Kubicki, S.J.
National Director
Apostleship of Prayer

"For twelve years . . . I said the Morning Offering at the start of each day."

"For twelve years in Catholic school, I said the Morning Offering at the start of each day. Like all great Catholic prayers, it had the power of focusing the imagination—in this case on the extraordinary but finite gift of time. It reminded me not to waste a single day that God gave me. Of course, I never lived up to the sublime vision offered by this prayer, but saying it again each morning gradually developed something inside me that has helped guide my conscience for the rest of my life."

Dana Gioia
Poet and former chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts (2003-2009)

"This book is a must-have."

“Once you read Like the First Morning, you’ll reach for that instead of your first cup of coffee in the morning. With wisdom from saints and other notable Catholic authors, Michael Ortiz has devised a remarkable handbook for starting every morning out right—in the heart of our Lord and his Blessed Mother. This book is a must-have.”

Marge Fenelon
Author of Imitating Mary

"A welcome guide and model reflection."

“Christian tradition has long urged that we set aside some time each day in which we direct ourselves to God. How we do this will vary widely, but a 'morning offering' has frequently been recommended. The Divine Office itself provides for this morning prayer. Michael Ortiz's short book is a welcome guide and model reflection on the various ways we can approach God. We are always helped by those who have written before us, the saints, the popes, and classical authors. There will always be good guides, but finding them is not always easy. Like the First Morning provides a refreshing approach for seeing the world ‘as in the first morning,’ to recall the account of Creation in Genesis. Each day becomes a renewal of all we know and are given, of what we can hope for.”

James V. Schall, S.J.
Professor Emeritus
Georgetown University

"A beautiful book."

“Michael Ortiz has written a beautiful book filled with the wisdom of Sacred Scripture, the world of nature and literature about a simple Christian habit that is the Morning Offering. This work focuses on the very meaning of our lives—the glory of the Lord.  A must read for all Christians devoted to giving their day and lives to God.”

Rev. C. John McCloskey, III, S.T.D.
Research Fellow
Faith and Reason Institute
Washington, DC

"This book reads like a prayer."

“The Morning Offering has transformed my own life; Ortiz’s insights renew my beloved daily devotion. From beginning to end, this book reads like a prayer. The practical suggestions at the end of each chapter encourage readers to join in the prayer, united in the love of Christ.”

Grace Mazza Urbanski
Children’s Ministry Director
Apostleship of Prayer

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