a favorite prayer….
Prayer of Surrender
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty,
and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
You hast given all to me.
To you, O lord, I return it.
Everything is yours;
do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
for this is sufficient for me.
Decision making is hard!
So many choices.
So many possibilities.
So many opportunities.
Some positive & others to be avoided!
As Amy Welbourn explains, “One reason it’s difficult to make choices is that, although all of us have limitations of one sort or another, it’s actually rather shocking how much freedom we really have.”
For example: If I wanted to, I could do something that addresses my yearning to do something more concretely practical to help with hospice care in our local parish.
I could announce that I’m going to begin story-telling to children again.
Or I could give in to my lifelong fascination with art, and take some art classes!
I could do it.
And maybe I will.
“We can approach the question of decision making from a number of perspectives, but if we’re Christians, and if we really believe that we are made by God and live in a world made by God and for God’s purpose, our only reasonable starting place is that purpose: What does God want?
The Catholic spiritual tradition calls decision making “discernment.” The word implies not coming up with a new idea completely out of our own creativity, but clarifying things so that we can see and understand something that’s already in place: what God wants us to do.
St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, is really the king of discernment in the Catholic tradition. His Spiritual Exercises, written over a couple of decades in the mid-sixteenth century and used by hundreds of thousands in the centuries since, is essentially the structure of a personal retreat dedicated to discernment of God’s will in one’s life. This retreat can take as long as thirty days, and one of its last elements is this prayer:
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.
It’s called the Suscipe, Latin for “take,” and even if you haven’t prayed it before it might be familiar to you from a contemporary hymn sung in Catholic churches called, not surprisingly, “Take Lord, Receive” and composed by, of course, a Jesuit.
If we’re wondering what to do with our lives, or even with the next fifteen minutes, the Suscipe is a wonderful prayer to fall back on. When it comes to decision making, context is everything, and this is a prayer that instantly puts our decision making into the right context, even when our own words fail us, when our own desires are pulling us in a million directions, and the sawdust is starting to look mighty appealing.” – Amy Wellborn
Suscipe is the Latin word for ‘receive.’
Each day we have the freedom to receive all that God has to give us.
What are you willing to receive from God today?
Are you willing to listen to His direction?
I am praying & verily hoping that you will!
And don’t be too surprised to watch me joining you too!
Because in the end, although it doesn’t use the word, the Suscipe is…all about love.
See how much He loves us…
hugs n’ blessings for all we shall receive today!