Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty…
These are the opening words of the Suscipe, a prayer from St. Ignatius of Loyola. They reflect the attitude of absolute submission to God’s will that exemplified the warrior-saint’s spiritual life, and they set the stage for his powerful and inspiring Exercises and Examen. They also offer a worthy example for us, as we seek to find the Divine Will for our own lives.
The prayer, in full:
Take, O Lord, and receive
My entire liberty, my memory,
My understanding and my whole will
All that I am and all that I possess,
You have given me
I surrender it all to You,
To be disposed of according to Your will
Give me only Your love and Your grace
With these I will be rich enough,
And will desire nothing more.
In the coming days I will introduce you to the remarkable Ignatius, in the truly productive time of his life prior to his cooptation by the Catholic Church. In those days, acting simply as a man of God in search of God’s will, he was inspired to develop The Spiritual Exercises and The Daily Examen of Consciousness. In the formative days of my faith and ministry, the discovery of these wonderful methods of discernment and Christian meditation served as a powerful catalyst for spiritual growth. I have developed a Protestant iteration of these tools, minus the Mariolatry and focusing on the practical presence of the Holy Spirit.
In this short post I simply invite you to follow the directions of the Exercises. Sit quietly, be still, and know that you are in the presence of your Creator. Understand your position as His creation. Become humbled by that knowledge.
And pray: suscipe.