Thursday, February 28, 2008


    The prayer below originates with Charles de Foucauld, a French aristocrat who eventually gave over his life to to serving the poor and founding the religious order The Little Brothers of Jesus. The prayer is called the Prayer of Abandonment. I have to admit that I still struggle with the notion of "giving it all to God." The idea or relinquishing control over my life flies in the face of everything taught me by our self-sufficient/ self-made man/capitalist culture. But in recent weeks, as I've engaged in a group study of the text The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus' Final Week in Jerusalem, I've been reminded of the central theme of Mark's gospel: the way of Christ is the way of faithfulness to the end, even unto death. Though we do not face the sort of death for our faith that folks did in Mark's day, we are called to other kinds of death: death to our own sense of self-sufficiency, death to self-centeredness, leading to the realization that we do need something beyond ourselves. When I find myself embracing this notion, the truth always washes over me that surrender doesn't bring confinement but freedom. If only we could teach this to our youth. Teach them that their faith is not just one more thing on a list of activities or distractions but it is rather the ultimate thing, the ultimate path, the ultimate way, to which they can give themselves over fully. And it is in this giving or surrendering that we find our true identity as God's beloved.

    Father, I abandon myself
    into your hands;
    do with me what you will.
    Whatever you may do,
    I thank you.
    I am ready for all,
    I accept all.
    Let only your will be done in me
    and in all your creatures.
    I wish no more than this, O Lord.
    Into your hands
    I commend my soul;
    I offer it to you,
    with all the love of my heart,
    for I love you, Lord,
    and so need to give myself,
    to surrender myself into your hands,
    without reserve, and with boundless
    for you are my Father.


    happyjoebennett said...

    Great post...needed to read that.