When we are so preoccupied with our past and our future, we naturally have neither energy nor openness left for the present moment, the only moment that mediates God’s will.”
Have you noticed that sometimes the subtitle of a book really says it all! In the case of “Into Your Hands Father” by Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen I believe this to be the case. The subtitle of the book is: ABANDONING OURSELVES TO THE GOD WHO LOVES US.
And this really does sum up the book perfectly…it’s not just ABANDONING ourselves! the emphasis is on THE GOD WHO LOVES US. For, truly, if we don’t believe the last part, we can never dare the first.
I read a little synopsis of this book on Ignatius Insight and sensed immediately that this was a must read! And, boy oh boy, was I ever right about that one! This is one of those life-changer books. The kind that are dog-eared and have at least 20 little stickies everywhere as reminders to go back and reread certain paragraphs. It’s one of those books that is dangerous to highlight…because you find that more of the text than not is covered in bright yellow. It’s one of those books that you just wanna write “YES” on the margin of every page.
It begins with Br. Charles of Jesus’ prayer: “Father, I abandon myself into Your hands; do with me what You will. For whatever You may do I thank you…” and so on. (If you don’t know that prayer, google it, print it, hang it on your mirror, put it in your Bible, frame it on your desk, and most of all PRAY IT EVERY DAY…)
And it’s from both this prayer and from excerpts from de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence that this book takes form. Since novitiate I have been reading Abandonment to Divine Providence…over and over again…then flipping…then reading it again from cover to cover. I love it. But…brace yourselves…I find this book even more powerful. It flushes out the essential elements of Abandonment to Divine Providence, in a way that makes it wholly palatable, reachable, desirable, and hopeful.
God carried you when you thought you were faltering; he surrounded you with his love when you felt you were abandoned. The Spirit helps you to see the whole of reality and not just a small fragment.”
The books is divided into three main sections: Accepting God’s Will, Obeying God’s Will, and Being God’s Instrument. And one builds on the other…so much so that by the time I got to section three all I could do was DESIRE that type of abandonment…with the realization that I’m not there yet! But the book is so written that this gradual ascent grows the longing for an ever deepening abandonment to the God who loves us!
I’ll close with the end of Br. Charles’ prayer…
For I love You, my God, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for You are my Father.”