When we fall short, it’s easy to despair and berate ourselves for our failings. We’re tempted to turn our focus inward, and that’s exactly where the enemy wants us. Using the theology of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Dr. Sri explains how this is the opposite of what God wants us to do. When we fail, instead of navel-gazing, we can recognize our littleness and let the Lord into our hearts by surrendering our shortcomings to him.
Paradoxically, the real victory in the spiritual life comes from surrender. When you say, “Lord, I give this to you because I can’t do it on my own.”
“As soon as God sees us convinced of our own nothingness — He stretches out His hand to us; but if we wish to attempt great things, even under the pretext of zeal, He leaves us alone. It is sufficient therefore to humble oneself and to bear our imperfections meekly: that is true sanctity.” -St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Letter 243
2 Ways to Surrender
- Morning offering prayer
- O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.
- O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits ; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love. O my God! I ask Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in Heaven for all Eternity. Amen. (Offering Prayer by St. Thérèse of Lisieux)
- See more prayers for morning offering here.
- Offer up your suffering.
- Next time you face a trial or difficulty, use it as an opportunity to surrender your weakness to God. Say, “God, I give this to you.”