Reflection on Catherine McAuley's Suscipe

My God, I am yours for time and eternity.
Our Lives are gifts from God and we belong to God in this life and in the next. Our lives are lived against the backdrop of eternity and union with God as our final happiness and rest. As St Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” Each of us is known personally to God, and he desires a close relationship with each of us. It is this charism of love which inspires the Sisters of Mercy and our school in its mission.

Teach me to cast myself entirely into the arms of your loving Providence with a lively, unlimited confidence in your compassionate, tender pity.
At times we don’t always know what is best for us, but we trust in God to guide us and to keep us. The Gospels reassure us that “every hair on our head” has been counted, and God knows what our deepest needs are. True wisdom comes from knowing ultimately, that it is only God who is worth putting our trust in. We are also reminded that our ability to trust in God, and to follow his providence comes from his grace, and him teaching us. We are aware at times of change and uncertainty of a power beyond us which supports and upholds us.

Grant, O most merciful Redeemer, that whatever you ordain or permit may be acceptable to me.
It is by God’s grace that whatever happens in our lives, God’s grace will bring about our growth and flourishing. At times we don’t feel that our lives are flourishing and it is in those times we need to trust that what God puts across our path will be for our good. God can bring good out of surprising situations. The openness with which Sister Helen and Sister Monica embraced the request to move from Abingdon is a powerful witness to the vows of poverty and obedience where we place our own desires and plans at the service of the community.

Take from my heart all painful anxiety; let nothing sadden me but sin, nothing delight me but the hope of coming to the possession of You my God and my all, in your everlasting kingdom. Amen.
So often life can be filled with silly worries and needless anxieties. The abandonment we are encouraged to make leads us to a freedom of spirit, which perceives the world with a sharp eye to what is important and what is not and this is certainly a gift of the religious vocation lived by both Sister Helen and Sister Monica. It is a healthy reminder to each of us that we are on a journey to the Father’s house, which at times means the virtue of stability and being rooted, and at other times calls us to be ready to move and go where God calls, trusting that in doing so, God continues to lead us to the fullness of life. We pray for Sister Monica and Sister Helen, and the whole religious order, that their life, witness and work will continue to enable them, and all those they meet to flourish and grow.


The above reflection was written by Chris Sumner when whe was a teacher at Our Lady's School Abingdon.  Chris is now Head of RS at St Joseph's College, Reading.   Our thanks to Chris for letting us use his reflection on the Suscipe.