Surrender: Reflection and Novena

In a previous post I wrote about surrender. I also shared the Surrender Novena and invited my readers to join me in prayer…

As we begin a new calendar year, many people make “resolutions” for the year.

When I thought about this, I wondered:

What if we focus on a different type of goal this year? What if we make a dedicated effort each day to surrender to God?

In order to do this, we must first understand what surrender is. Then, we must have a way to practice it.

Below is an updated and improved version of my original post, which includes the Surrender Novena at the end.

I hope you’ll read the reflection and pray the novena with me again, or for the first time


Reflection

Surrender usually refers to defeat and has a negative connotation in society.

However, in Christianity, surrender has an entirely different meaning. It’s actually what we’re meant to strive for in our relationship with God!

In a previous post I stated that we’re called to put our lives in the Lord’s hands and trust the plan He has for each of us.

Another word for this action 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.

But 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.

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 be easier said than done!

Thankfully, He shows us how to do this in numerous ways; and I’ll share one way at the end of this post.

Model

Someone who completely abandoned himself to God was Father Dolindo Ruotolo.

Father Don Dolindo Ruotolo was a Neapolitan priest (1882-1970), stigmatized miracle worker and “mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit.”

Father Ruotolo had extraordinary communications with Jesus throughout his heroic life, a life that was totally devoted to God and Holy Mother Mary. He referred to himself as “the Madonna’s little old man” and the Rosary was his constant companion.

On November 19, 1970 Don (Fr) Dolindo Ruotolo died at the age of 88. Padre Pio once said of this priest from Naples, Italy, “The whole of paradise is in your soul.” His name, Dolindo, means Pain and his life was rich with this pain. As a child, a teenager, a seminarian and a priest, he experienced humiliation, which was the realization of the prophetic words of a bishop who said, “You will be a martyr, but in your heart, not with your blood.”

In his profound humility, he was able to hear the words of God. Even with his hidden life he was one of the greatest prophets of the last century. He wrote to Bishop Hnilica in 1965 that a new John will rise out of Poland with heroic steps to break the chains beyond the boundaries imposed by the communist tyranny. On this postcard, he wrote words of consolation for Poland and all the countries suffering under the communist regime. This prophecy was realized in the papacy of John Paul II.

In his tremendous suffering, Dolindo became more and more a child who lived his self-offering to the Divine Father. “I am totally poor, a poor nothing. My strength is my prayer, my leader is the will of God which I let take me by the hand. My security over the uneven path is the heavenly mother Mary” (Full of Grace USA).

Statue from the Church of the Sacred Heart of Suffrage, Rome. Photo from my parents

Prayer

Throughout Fr. Dolindo’s life, Jesus revealed important messages to him.

One such revelation was a prayer known as the Surrender Novena.

For those who aren’t aware, a novena is a prayer said for nine consecutive days for a specific purpose.

I’d like to invite you to pray this novena with me from: Sunday, January 12 to Monday, January 20.

(We’ll begin that day because it’s the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which ends the Christmas season and begins Ordinary Time.)

This novena is meant to teach us to surrender to God and turn to Him for everything.

The text and prayer for each day are below.

A printable version is also available here.

For the first day, read the text for Day 1 and recite the prayer stated. For the second day, read the text for Day 2 and recite the prayer stated. Continue this method each day for nine days…

If you read this after January 12th or forget to begin, you can begin any date you choose.

Just be sure to pray for nine consecutive days and follow the format and prayers given.

Most importantly, let’s keep our hearts and minds open to the Lord.

I hope you’ll join me in prayer!


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.