Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to me and everything will be peaceful. […] 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.
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.
This is how the “Surrender to the will of God” by Father Don Dolindo Ruotolo goes; Don Dolindo was a capuchin friar who lived between 1882 and 1970. An invitation coming from Christ himself to all men, so that they remember what it means belonging to Him, being Christians because “of Christ” with all heart and soul.
The idea of a complete surrender to God’s will can look like a less effective and deep manifestation of faith compared to other forms of devotion, to going to mass, to daily prayers, to the frequent recital of the Rosary, and so on. Yet, paradoxically, it is exactly in the moment we stop struggling over something that we are more appreciated by Jesus. It is not necessary to repeat over and over what our needs or our requests are, nor what we desperately need. God already knows that very well, without having to listen to our prayers. And it isn’t even necessary to pimp ourselves to his eyes, showing off our faith with external and superficial acts, boasting a constant participation to the mass, an exemplary regularity in reciting the Rosary or in praying. We are already beautiful to God’s eyes for what we feel deep in our heart, for what we really are and feel.
We will always be missing something. We will never be fully satisfied and settled. We live in a constant situation of need, in a status of lack from which we cannot come out, because it is a part of the human condition. However, we must not believe that our weakness, our incompleteness, our not being able to go on by ourselves might look as negative to God’s eyes, or something to be blamed for. On the contrary! It is exactly this vulnerability, this inadequacy, to make us so dear to Him, merciful and good Father; He is always ready to show us His love, to welcome us in His embrace, to comfort us and make us feel at home.
Therefore, admitting our own vulnerability is the best gift for our Lord. In the very moment we admit that we cannot go on and need Him, that is when we open the way for His love, we give Him the faculty to come to our rescue and love us as only He can do.
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.
Father Don Olindo understood that. A pious man, who spent his whole existence in prayer, dedicating himself to collect confessions from countless Christians, acting as spiritual guide for anyone who might need one; he understood in depth how much our necessities and our smallness were the right way to receive the love of God.
Surrendering to his own limits, admitting his weakness, man turns into God’s hands, at the mercy of his benevolence, and that is good enough to see his prayers granted. According to the friar, a real and true act of surrender is worth more than any anxiety, worry or request. God is there to listen to us, we just need to ask him what we need and say: “You take care of it.”
Father Don Dolindo was also the spiritual guide of Padre Pio, and helped many people who turned to him looking for help and comfort. To help them, he did just that, he surrendered completely to God, encouraging the people concerned to do the same. The prayer of surrender he left us, which can be recited or read in full, or used as a novena, a segment per day for nine days even inside the recital of the Rosary, is a repetition of one single concept: “O Jesus I surrender to You, You take care of it!“
It is a different way to convey our requests to God, to show Him our own needs, fears and necessities. It requires an infinite trust, which comes from deep in our heart, as a child turns to an adult and taking for granted that he will receive help, love and fulfilment of all of his wishes. That is what we are to God’s eyes, children in need for love and help; only our pride and our ego often make us forget that, and make us arrogant and only superficially subdued. We cannot give God the benefit of the doubt: we either believe in Him or not, we either rely on His will and His love, or we’d better stop asking and demanding.
This is Father Don Dolindo’s message, an invitation to surrender completely, and let every reservation, every resistance, every reason and why fall down. Diving into the love of God with no barriers, no safety net, only trusting His embrace, ready to welcome us.