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Prayer of Abandonment

Today's exercise at the close of Day 1 with PB25 on The Ignatian Way was to sit with this prayer.


             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.

                                      - Charles de Foucald, a.k.a., "Brother Charles of Jesus"

     Charles de Foucald was a hermit and marytr in the Sahara (1916) who was called to a "ministry of presence" in the desert among "the furthest removed, the most abandoned."  Holy Women, Holy Men: Commemorating the Saints says that "Brother Charles of Jesus" was moved "to shout the Gospel with his life." 

     PB25's direction was to consider 'to what extent does this prayer hit home' for me? To let the prayer address me and determine whether or not I sense a revelation of freedom or feel bound up against accepting it my call. To ask the Spirit of Truth to reveal my availability to that Spirit or my unavailability, if it be the case. 

     So I went to sit in the Prayer Hall to be still, to feel and listen, and this is what came to me:

     I think of the line in the movie, "Rudy," when Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger, a senior at Notre Dame who had served  as a punching bag and tackling dummy for several seasons on a no-dress practice squad, had earned the right to dress for the final home game; a right some of the varsity squad had advocated for with Dan Devine, the new head football coach. [Actually, the dramatic jerseys laid out on the coach's desk scene never happened; Coach Devine had already announced Ruettiger would dress for the Georgia Tech game.]
     The senior captain calls 'Rudy' to the front so he can lead the team out the tunnel into the stadium.  Grabbing him by the facemask, the captain says, "You ready for this, champ?"
     Rudy replies, "I've been ready for this my whole life!"

     The difference between Rudy and me is that he passionately sought, for a long time, risking injury and repeated rejection, the opportunity to play football for the Fighting Irish.  He knew what he wanted and he doggedly pursued his dream.
     Me, on the other hand, currently in the track for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church, had tried long and hard to constantly to remove myself from, keeping at arm's length, any embrace to culminate this possibility of ordained ministry.
     "Do you feel called?"
     "Have you prayerfully considered a call to ordained ministry?"
     "Me?  NO!"

     For a good long while, I resisted any association by myself or others of me being considered or thought of in that way. "You've mistaken me for my father - he's the priest in our family."

     But, to get back to the exercise at hand ... yes, I would like to think I am now being obedient, making myself fully available, ready to be lead, guided, and hopefully guarded and protected, by God's Divine Providence into whatever form of ministry God has in mind from me, and for us.  Chris-Miss, Heart Of My Heart, thinks me a bit tardy in this obedience, and yet after exclaiming, "FINALLY!" at the occasion of my Call, has supported me fully while accompanying me along The Way.

     Two Hearts.  Two Minds.  A Life Shared.  Called.  I believe The Lord Will Provide.

     "Who will go for us, and whom should I send?"

     "Here Am I, Lord.  Send Me!"