I leave for the Bronx in about 2 weeks and what a ride this has already been. To be honest with you there have been many moments where I just want to give up and say "no way, I'm NOT doing this", but the Lord is always faithful and He won't let me get away that easy. So He uses these moments of difficulty to teach me. (If only I didn't have to learn many of the same lessons over and over again!)
This time I'm learning about surrender.
Surrender. The spiritual life is all about surrender. Surrendering our will to God's so that His plan may be carried out. Sounds great right? Ha! If only it were that easy.
Towards the end of my stay with the Missionaries of Charity in the summer of 2011 I remember telling Sr.Philip, "Sister! I think I may be called to the Missionaries of Charity someday!" I was expecting an answer from her telling me how excited she was, but instead she said, "Surrender your will to God's and you will know, its all about surrender". I was slightly confused as to why she said this, she should have been so exited that I thought I had a vocation with the MCs right?! Of course being the wise sister that she is, Sr.Philip was right. So I went home and kept thinking about what she said. Surrender, hmmmm, surrender.....
As I progress in my relationship with The Lord, each and everyday He asks for everything, for complete surrender, a total fiat. But in my weakness I like to surrender and take back. If I surrender and there is peace and joy, great! But if I surrender and there is suffering, Ill take whatever I just gave the Lord back into my own hands, no suffering for me! I tend to surrender only what I think will benefit me. Only what feels good.
But surrender is so much more than that. Surrender isn't about getting something good from The Lord, it isn't about feeling good. When we surrender our will to God's we surrender EVERYTHING. We surrender to the good and the bad. Suffering is a gift from God. Suffering comes along with surrender. When we surrender our will to God's we throw our hands up to whatever God desires to give us. Be it joy, hope, laughter, or suffering if we are truly at Gods complete disposal then we will joyfully accept whatever He gives and give whatever He takes. That is what true surrender is. That is what total surrender is.
What a beautiful time of year we are in, advent. A time of preparation, a time of waiting for the birth of the child Jesus, a time that we can learn so much about surrender. Mary gave the ultimate fiat, the ultimate surrender when she said to Angel Gabriel, "Behold, I am the handmaid of The Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word". Mary had NO IDEA what her surrender would all entail, but she embraced it joyfully. At 9 months pregnant Mary had to ride a donkey, yes RIDE A DONKEY to a town completely foreign to her. As she was going into labor she was not in a hospital, she was not in the comfort of her home, she was on a donkey with no place to stay. If she was the least bit human she was probably thinking, "Lord, you initiated this whole thing all for me to give birth to the Son of God on a donkey?!" But still she trusted in the Lord and He provided.
In these last few days of advent let us be as our Blessed Mother and give Christ our complete surrender, our complete fiat; and be it suffering or joy let us joyfully accept whatever God gives and joyfully give whatever He takes.
Mary, mother of God, pray for us.