From The Joy of Full Surrender
During the days of Jesus’s life on Earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. (Hebrews 5:7)
Surrender of the heart to God includes every possible way of obedience to God, because it means giving up one’s very being to God’s good pleasure. Since this surrender is effected by unalloyed love, it includes in its embrace every kind of operation his good pleasure may bring to pass. Thus at every moment we practice a surrender that has no limits, a surrender that includes all possible methods and degrees of service to God. It is not our business to decide what the ultimate purpose of such submission may be, but our sole duty is to submit ourselves to all that God sends us and to stand ready to do his will at all times.
What God requires of the soul is the essence of self-surrender. The free gifts he asks from us are self-denial, obedience, and love. The rest is his business. It does not matter whether the soul is carefully fulfilling the duties of one’s state in life, or quietly following the leadings it is given, or submitting peacefully to the dealings of grace either to the body or to the soul. In all this, the soul is exercising within the one overall act of self-surrender. It is not a matter of single, isolated incidents or the duty of one moment, but the act always carries with it the full merit and good effect which a sincere will always has, although the outcome does not depend on the single act of surrender. What the soul desires to do is done as in the sight of God.
If it happens that God’s will sets a limit to the exercise of some particular faculty of ours, he sets no limit on our wills. The good pleasure of God, God’s being and essence are the object of the will, and through the exercise of love it is united with God without limit, manner, or measure. If this love results in the exercise of only one faculty or another for a certain object, this means that the will of God goes only so far, it contracts itself, so to speak, restricting itself to the specific needs of the moment, engaging the faculties and then going on into the heart. Finding the heart pure, untrammeled and holding nothing back, he communicates his will fully to it, because his love has given it an infinite capacity by emptying it of all created things and making it capable of union with God.
O Heavenly purity! O blessed emptying! O unreserved submission! Through you God is welcomed into the very center of the heart! It matters not what my abilities may be then, provided that I possess you, Lord. Do what you will with this insignificant creature. Whether it be that I should work, or become inspired, or be the recipient of your impressions, it is all the same. Everything is yours, everything is from you and for you. I no longer have anything to be concerned about, anything to do. I have no hand in the arrangement of one single moment of my life; everything belongs to you. I do not need to add or subtract anything, nor to seek after or mull over anything. It is for you, Lord to regulate everything: direction, humiliations, sanctification, perfection and salvation – all are your business, Lord. Mine is to be satisfied with your work and not to demand the choice of action or condition, but to leave everything to your good pleasure.