“I entrust my spirit into your hands; you, Lord, God of faithfulness–you have saved me” (Psalm 31:5 The Common English Bible).
As part of my preparation for this blog entry, I looked up the word “entrust” in the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Here are the two definitions. 1. To confer a trust on; especially: to deliver something in trust to. 2. To commit to another with confidence. The definition of entrust suggests giving something of tremendous value to another without question of the other’s ability to treasure it as much as we do. To entrust something we value to another, we are making ourselves and what we value vulnerable. In effect, we are giving with the hope of it being returned safely. Yet, we are relinquishing our sense of control over the final outcome.
Our spirit is where our sense of eternal truth lies. It is from the very depth of ourselves. Our spirit is where we find our true-sense of self. We pray and place our hope for the salvation of our souls in Jesus the Risen and Ascended Christ who is our faithful Redeemer. Jesus has taken our wounded humanity into the presence of the Holy One to intercede on our behalf. In Jesus, everything that is good and not so good is in the heart of the God of love. A few days from now we will celebrate the great Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes to us in abundance. Basil Pennington, O.C.S.O. in his book Centering Prayer: Renewing An Ancient Christian Prayer Form wrote that the Holy Spirit is our Spirit given to us at our Baptism. (See page 10).
The Psalmist in Psalm 31 is lamenting what is happening. The author finds that they are surrounded by the worst of the worst. The only thing that Psalmist can do is turn to God and “entrust my spirit to you, my Lord. God of faithfulness.” The last words of this Psalm verse are their affirmation of their God who has already saved them.
In his book The Eremitic Life: Encountering God in Silence and Solitude Fr. Cornelius Wencel, Er.Cam wrote,
“In contemplative prayer, a person can start to appreciate through faith how great and unfathomable God’s mystery is and how much it surpasses all human attempts of understanding it” (see page 182).
The contemplative engages themselves in the work of daily entrusting their spirit into God’s hands. Contemplative prayer is daring to let go of controlling what happens to what it is we entrust to God’s hands; and entrusting God with what the outcome will be. We don’t have to know what the conclusion will be. We only have to entrust that the God who saves us in the mystery of Jesus the Christ will help us to remain a part of the story in the here and now.
“The path you must follow is in the Psalms–never leave it” (The Rule of St. Romuald).
“First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to him most earnestly to bring it to perfection” (RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict in English, p.15).
Abba Nilus said, “Do not be always wanting everything to turn out as you think it should, but rather as God pleases, then you will be undisturbed and thankful in your prayer” (Desert Fathers and Mothers: Early Christian Wisdom Sayings Annotated and Explained by Christine Valters Paintner PhD, p.61).
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well” (St. Julian of Norwich).
What are you entrusting God with in your life today?
Peace be with all who enter here.
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB-CoS
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