Today was my monthly day of recollection. One part was attending a Lenten day of recollection for priests. Let me share 3 points from the event.
The priest giving the talk read the Genesis account of Jacob’s Ladder which happened at Bethel. The word ‘Bethel’ means HOUSE OF GOD. In the Old Testament this sense of God’s Presence being found in holy places eventually lead to the Temple in Jerusalem, the supreme place where God was to be found. One of the major revelations of the New Testament is that the holy place where the Presence of God is supremely found is in the Body of Christ, the Church. One expression of our faith in this appears at the end of each Eucharistic Prayer at Mass: “Through him [through our unity with Christ and his Body], with him and in him, O God almighty Father, all glory and honour is yours, forever and ever.” Heaven is the fullness of unity with Christ in his Body – the Church – in the next life.
The speaker spent considerable time talking about Blessed Charles de Foucauld who had a great devotion to the Eucharist. Blessed Charles came up with the term “Jesus-Eucharist”: Jesus is the Eucharist; the Eucharist is Jesus.
Lastly the speaker gave us Blessed Charles’ PRAYER OF ABANDONMENT. He said this needs to be seen as Jesus’ prayer of abandonment on the Cross. We need to pray for the grace to be able to enter this ourselves as deeply as possible. After the second talk I went to confession to the speaker and he asked me to meditate on this prayer for my penance. Can I suggest that you read it slowly and prayerfully, taking a line at a time. [You may also like to write it down and use it on a daily basis.]
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.