Sweet Surrender Allows for Shades of Glory
As a couple of Sisters and I were driving back to New York from the Midwest earlier this month, we marveled at the glorious hues of deep red, orange and vibrant yellows of the autumn leaves on the trees that lined the highway. Driving alongside these magnificent shades that bled into each other marked the peak of fall – and captivated us deeply.
As we relished in the splendor of God’s glory, I couldn’t help but think of how these leaves were not gorgeous of their own volition, but rather because they submitted to the laws of nature – the breaking down of chlorophyll, etc.
In the state of surrender – the very act of dying, essentially – the truest colors of the foliage are revealed… and some were on FIRE! (It seemed so as the sun glistened upon them ever so gently). My heart considered that perhaps, this is similar to what our souls look like when we surrender everything to God (and let Him break the “chlorophyll”) in a spirit of freedom and love.
Moving forward in the path of surrender to the Divine Law, regardless of vocation, we begin to discover who we are – the very essence of our being.
However, it happens in phases – like the leaves. When one opens her heart to discernment, there is a call to surrender – surrendering her own ideas of what she believes will satisfy her and bring her romance, love, joy, freedom and ultimate fulfillment. With each movement of fidelity to grace, the Lord provides for us to make the next step. And with each act of surrender, we are transfigured by God’s glory.
Daily, small yet profoundly meaningful acts of surrender cultivate in us a disposition of docility. Each day we can surrender potentially frustrating episodes, the desire to have the last word, annoyances, regrets, failures, our precious time, scheduled plans, desires for attention, our fears and misunderstandings. This list goes on. These acts of surrender are not inconsequential! In fact, they have the capacity to transform us.
For those in Religious Life, we are called to live in constant surrender in a poignant way (though this is demanded for any vocation!) And in this offering, her truest identity is revealed. She discovers in her espousal to God, a spiritual fecundity unimaginable. In the offertory act, she discovers a love so deep it is mysterious in nature.
This disposition of joyful surrender, cultivated by a daily practice, allows us to receive all as gift and demand nothing in return. It is not passive, but active – handing over everything into the hands of a Loving Father, who awaits to fulfill even the unknown desires in the secret depths of our hearts. This surrender makes even the most vibrant fall leaves, pale in comparison.
Be assured of our deepest prayers for you.
In the Heart of Jesus,
Sr. Grace Dominic, S.V.
Prayer of Surrender, written by an anonymous priest (with excerpts of the prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola)
Loving Father, I surrender to you today with all my heart and soul. Please come into my heart in a deeper way. I say “Yes” to you today. I open all the secret places of my heart to you and say, “Come on in.” Jesus, you are the Lord of my whole life. I believe in you and receive you as my Lord and Savior. I hold nothing back. Holy Spirit, bring me to a deeper conversion to the person of Jesus Christ. I surrender all to you: my health, my family, my resources, occupation, skills, relationships, time management, successes and failures. I release it, and let it go. I surrender my understanding of how things ought to be, my choice and my will. I surrender to you the promises I have kept and the promises I have failed to keep. I surrender my weaknesses and strengths to you. I surrender my emotions, my fears, my insecurities, my sexuality. I especially surrender ____________________ (Continue here to surrender other areas as the Holy Spirit reveals them to you.)
Lord, I surrender my entire life to you, the past, the present and the future. In sickness and in health, in life and in death, I belong to you.
Take Lord and receive all my liberty, my memory, my intellect, and my will. You have given all to that I have and I return it now to you. Dispose of me according to your will. Give me only your love and your grace, for with this I am rich enough and have no more to ask.