COLUMN: Abandoning Ourselves into the Hands of God -- 3/21/2021

Bishop Columns

Trusting God means making a conscious decision to place ourselves into His hands. We abandon ourselves to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  There are different ways to express this entrustment to God. There are acts of consecration that can be done in a formal way. Several blesseds and saints have passed on prayers to express this total commitment.  As we draw closer to holy week, I share below a few prayers that have made a significant impact and proven popular with the faithful.

In one of my recent retreat talks, I preached on the Prayer of Abandonment by Blessed Charles de Foucald. Blessed Charles composed this prayer as a young trappist. Later in life, he felt called to live a simple life as a hermit in the Sahara Desert, while also lovingly identifying with and serving the community near him. He was martyred in 1916.

“Prayer of Abandonment” (Blessed Charles de Foucauld)
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 confidence,
for you are my Father. Amen.

As part of spiritual exercise, Saint Ignatius of Loyola gave us the “Suscipe” (from the Latin word “receive”):

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess, Thou hast given me: I surrender it all to Thee to be disposed of according to Thy will. Give me only Thy love and Thy grace; with these I will be rich enough and will desire nothing more. Amen.

Of course, one does not need to recite such prayers to make an act of entrustment to God. A very simple prayer of abandonment is found in the Divine Mercy Devotion, with the expression: “Jesus, I Trust in You!” You can use your own words, in the way that most expresses your desire to give yourself completely to God.

Our model is the Blessed Mother who gave an unreserved “yes” to the will of God at the Annunciation (Luke 1:38), which we celebrate this week. Her “fiat” (Latin for “let it be done”) to the Holy Spirit led to the incarnation of Jesus.  St. Joseph also accepted the will of God following his nighttime annunciation in a dream (Mt 1:20).

As we draw closer to Holy Week I invite you to pray one of these prayers, or one that spontaneously arises in your heart.  Giving a complete “yes” to God is the best decision you’ll ever make.

Your servant,

The Most Reverend Robert J. McClory

Bishop

Diocese of Gary