Surrendering to God’s Love

by Jurell Sison

This post is based on Week Eight of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.

sun raysContemplating the love of the Creator opened my heart to a new world, one that I needed to explore and experience. After all, it was the way Jesus prayed. He surrendered to the Father, the one who creates and sustains all things.

In my prayer, I began to contemplate the mystery of God’s creation—from the galaxies of the cosmos to the tiniest of potato bugs—and it was then that I got a taste of God’s mysterious love. There was an infinite amount of activity and excitement happening in God’s created world: bees buzzing, oceans roaring, stars exploding, newborn chicks breaking through their eggs, tiny insects working deep in the earth, a mother nursing her precious child. God’s world is loud and dynamic, and it is constantly active, moving us forward into new life.

Ignatius makes it very clear that love is not about the words spoken but deeds done. Love is about action, and God is constantly laboring—providing and giving life to everything around us. In my prayer, I realized that everything was divinely connected and contributed to a larger plan that was intricately designed to lead me to life and salvation.

Not only did I experience God laboring for me, but he was laboring within me, working to create something great, something holy, something new and fruitful for his kingdom here on earth. It was mind boggling to know in my heart that this mysterious God labors because he loves me and has great plans for me.

Once I realized this, there was only one thing left to do: surrender. So I humbly prayed:

Take, Lord, and receive all that I am:
my liberty, my memory, my understanding,
my creativity, my passions, and everything I’ve grown to be.

Take my camera and keyboard,
my collection of professional work.
Take my talents and compassionate heart,
my knowledge and my ability to think.
Take my wisdom and my written words.
Take the deep friendships that I’ve created in my life.
Take, and give good care, to the ones I’ve loved the most.
Lord, take all I have and call my own.

You have given all these gifts to me—and now I return them.
Lord, take these gifts and blessings—for all is yours.
Dispose of these gifts according to your will.

Because, Lord, all I need is your love and your grace.
That is enough for me.

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Jurell Sison is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Brunswick, Ohio. He graduated in 2013 from John Carroll University with a Master of Arts in Theology. In 2010–2011, Jurell served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Detroit, Michigan, teaching at Detroit Cristo Rey High School. He enjoys exercising, reading Catholic theologians, photography, videography, social media, Ignatian and Franciscan spirituality, playing guitar, keeping up with Pope Francis, and much more. His favorite activity is sharing a good meal with close family and friends, especially his best friend and wife, Bridget.

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April 24, 2014

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynda April 24, 2014 at 5:50 am

Jurell, God has given you great gifts and you are using them to the glory of God. God used this reflection to speak deeply to my heart this morning. Thank you. Blessings.

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Suzanne Marie April 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Dear Jurell,
I concur with Lynda, and I so appreciate what you have done with the Suscipe prayer. You made it very personal and dear. Gave me deeper
insight in how I might pray it. AMDG
Easter joy to you and yours, Suzanne

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Jurell Sison April 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Thank you both so much. It’s been quite a journey. I was just with my spiritual director today and we read this together. He said, “Man, when you start naming specific things that you want to surrender to God–now that’s GOOD stuff.” :)

Grace and peace to you guys.

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Jonathan May 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm

What happens after you surrendered?

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