Surrender

Surrender usually refers to defeat and has a negative connotation in society. In Christianity, surrender has an entirely different meaning; and it’s what we’re meant to strive for in our relationship with God!

In my previous post, Waiting…, I emphasized that we’re called to put our lives in the Lord’s hands and trust the plan that He has for each of us; we must genuinely seek God’s will and pray for the grace to accept it. Another word for these actions is surrender.

Our goal as Christians is to allow God to be in charge, trust that He’ll take care of us and not worry about anything.

It may seem that if we give ourselves to Him, we’ll lose something (or everything). That’s a lie that the voices of the world tell us. Jesus tells us the truth:

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).

Jesus isn’t referring exclusively to those who will die for Him as martyrs, He’s referring to all Christians. We’re each called to abandon ourselves wholly to our loving and merciful Lord. When we do this, we become free from anxiety, discontent and the false notion that we have to take care of everything on our own. When we do this, we experience peace, joy and humility; we become fully alive and who we’re meant to be as children of God.

For some of us, abandoning ourselves to the Lord may sound like it’s easier said than done. Thankfully, He teaches us how to give ourselves to Him in numerous ways—and I will share one way in this post.

Surrender requires our effort and will. We must let God in and accept His help and guidance. We must practice submitting ourselves to Him in both large and small aspects of our lives each day. In time, it will become easier and feel more natural.

An excellent example of someone who abandoned himself completely to God and the Blessed Mother was Father Dolindo Ruotolo. Fr. Dolindo was a priest from Naples, Italy who lived from 1882 to 1970. Many referred to him as a “prophet,” while he referred to himself as “the Madonna’s little old man.” He lived a hidden life of humility and tremendous suffering.

Those who knew him (including Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina) considered him to be a holy man. Throughout Fr. Dolindo’s life, Jesus gave him messages that are meant to be listened to and learned from today. His cause for canonization has been opened, and he may be declared a saint in the future.

Jesus gave Fr. Dolindo what’s known as The Surrender Novena. A Novena is a prayer that is said for nine consecutive days. (The word novena comes from the Latin “novem” which means nine.) The purpose is typically to ask God for graces or to grant a specific request. Novenas are often prayed nine days before a feast or holy day, but they can be prayed at any time.

I’d like to invite you to pray The Surrender Novena with me! It’s slightly different than most because the person praying doesn’t include their own specific intention.

The purpose of this one is to teach us to surrender to Jesus and turn to Him for everything. I feel that this Novena is particularly special and must be shared with others. I’d like to thank the person who shared it with me.

For those who would like to join me, we’ll begin on Saturday, October 6th and end on Sunday, October 14th. (Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo was born on October 6th.) The text and prayer for each day are below; they are Jesus’ own words.

A printable version can also be found by clicking here. For the first day, you will read the text for Day 1 and recite the prayer stated. For the second day, you will read the text for Day 2 and recite the prayer stated and so on…

If you read this after October 6th or forget to begin that day, you can begin any day you choose. Be sure to pray for nine consecutive days and follow the format and prayers given.

Most importantly, keep your heart and mind open to the Lord and trust His promises. I hope you’ll join me in prayer!

The Surrender Novena

Day 1: 

Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying?

Leave the care of your affairs to me and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Day 2:

Surrender to me does not mean to fret, to be upset, or to lose hope, nor does it mean offering to me a worried prayer asking me to follow you and change your worry into prayer. It is against this surrender, deeply against it, to worry, to be nervous and to desire to think about the consequences of anything. It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and then try to take care of those needs for themselves so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s way. Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul, to turn away from thoughts of tribulation and to put yourself in my care, so that only I act. Saying You take care of it.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Day 3:

How many things I do when the soul, in so much spiritual and material need turns to me, looks at me and says to me; You take care of it, then close its eyes and rests. In pain you pray for me to act, but that I act in the way you want. You do not turn to me, instead, you want me to adapt to your ideas. You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you, but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to. So do not act this way, but pray as I taught you in the Our Father: Hallowed be thy Name, that is, be glorified in my need. Thy kingdom come, that is, let all that is in us and in the world be in accord with your kingdom. Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, that is, in our need, decide as you see fit for our temporal and eternal life. If you say to me truly: Thy will be done. Which is the same as saying: You take care of it. I will intervene with all my omnipotence, and I will resolve the most difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Day 4:

You see evil growing instead of weakening? Do not worry, Close your eyes and say to me with faith: Thy will be done, You take care of it. I say to you that I will take care of it, and that I will intervene as does a doctor and I will accomplish miracles when they are needed. Do you see that the sick person is getting worse? Do not be upset, but close your eyes and say You take care of it. I say to you that I will take care of it, and that there is no medicine more powerful than my loving intervention. By my love, I promise this to you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Day 5:

And when I must lead you on a path different from the one you see, I will prepare you; I will carry you in my arms; I will let you find yourself, like children who have fallen asleep in their mother’s arms, on the other bank of the river.  What troubles you and hurts you immensely are your reason, your thoughts and worry, and your desire at all costs to deal with what afflicts you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Day 6:

You are sleepless; you want to judge everything, direct everything and see to everything and you surrender to human strength, or worse – to men themselves, trusting in their intervention – this is what hinders my words and my views. Oh how much I wish from you this surrender, to help you and how I suffer when I see you so agitated! Satan tries to do exactly this: to agitate you and to remove you from my protection and to throw you into the jaws of human initiative. So, trust only in me, rest in me, surrender to me in everything.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Day 7:

I perform miracles in proportion to your full surrender to me and to your not thinking of yourselves. I sow treasure troves of graces when you are in the deepest poverty. No person of reason, no thinker, has ever performed miracles, not even among the saints. He does divine works whosoever surrenders to God. So don’t think about it any more, because your mind is acute and for you it is very hard to see evil and to trust in me and to not think of yourself. Do this for all your needs, do this all of you and you will see great continual silent miracles. I will take care of things, I promise this to you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Day 8:

Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away on the flowing current of my grace; close your eyes and do not think of the present, turning your thoughts away from the future just as you would from temptation. Repose in me, believing in my goodness, and I promise you by my love that if you say You take care of it. I will take care of it all; I will console you, liberate you and guide you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Day 9:

Pray always in readiness to surrender, and you will receive from it great peace and great rewards, even when I confer on you the grace of immolation, of repentance and of love. Then what does suffering matter? It seems impossible to you? Close your eyes and say with all your soul, Jesus, you take care of it. Do not be afraid, I will take care of things and you will bless my name by humbling yourself. A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender, remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this:

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (Repeat 10 times)

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Mother, I am yours now and forever. Through you and with you I always want to belong completely to Jesus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.