By Nayaswami Narayan
January 14, 2020

“I remained twelve years without denying or believing anything, despairing of the truth and not even believing in God. There was no convincing proof.”

“At 17 I was totally selfish, full of vanity and irreverence, engulfed by a desire for what is evil. I was running wild.”

“I was in the dark. I no longer saw either God or men: There was only me.”

These were the words of Charles de Foucauld born in France in 1858. At the age of 17 he entered the military and sank into an even darker period indulging in food and drink. So called “friends” even called him “Fats Foucauld”. In his own words he said, “I sleep long. I eat a lot. I think little.”

This was the dark night of his soul.

After the military and a period of serious travel which almost killed him, he found himself at the age of 28 back in Paris close to his family. He described his family as “highly virtuous, highly intelligent, and highly Christian.” Even though he did not believe in God, he was moved by a strong interior grace. He spent a lot of time at a local Church where he felt quiet and at peace. Spontaneously he began to pray for hours at a time. His prayer was simple and strange (to him at the time):

“My God, if you exist, allow me to know you!”

Like a warm summer breeze he was bathed in the loving presence of God. In that moment he realized it was God who protected him even when he did not believe. God’s answer came in such a flood like fashion that he was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. Like a prodigal son he felt received with boundless and unconditional love by his Father.

So great was his transformation of heart that he became a trappist monk and then a priest who completely dedicated his life to “the love of God, and the love of people.” 

A few nights ago, I heard Jackie, Dharmadevi’s mother, reciting a prayer to herself in bed. (For those of you that don’t know we are in Georgia helping Jackie during her transition as she recently entered hospice.) 

She said softly to herself,  “Father I abandon myself in your hands…” I could not make out the entire prayer, but the sweetness in her voice and her expression of surrender to God’s will touched me deeply. The next day I asked her about the prayer and she told me it was called the “Prayer of Abandonment” written by Charles de Foucauld!

Brother Charles’ (for he wanted to be known as a “universal brother”) “Prayer of Abandonment” is one of the most beautiful prayers of faith and trust in God that I’ve ever heard.

I am deeply grateful to Jackie for not only sharing this prayer with me, but more so for the example of her life that has embodied abandonment to, and into the hands of God alone!

Joined in the prayer of abandonment,

Nayaswami Narayan

 
 

The “Prayer of Abandonment”

 
 

Father,
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,
And so need to give myself,
To surrender myself into your hands
Without reserve,
And with boundless confidence,
For You are my Father.

-Charles de Foucauld

 

14 Comments

  1. Dearest Dharmadevi and Narayan,
    It is so beautiful that you three spiritual souls can go through this transition together.
    Thank you and Jackie for this amazing prayer.
    I pray for you and for the hard part after the passing when all the “stuff” of the physical world must be done to put things in order. May all run smoothly.
    Love,
    Vicki

  2. Thanks for sharing the story of Jackie, and the origin of the prayer of Mr. Foucald, and his transformation (Ego story of the majority of human beings).

  3. Thank you for this story, prayer and blessings that you lovingly share. May this sacred time with Dharmadevi’s mother deepen the bond of Divine Love.

  4. Thank you for breaking my heart open with your words today, Narayan. Openness to more love and more faith is always a good thing. Hugs to Jackie, to Dharmadevi, and to you, dear friend!

  5. What a wonderful gift and perfectly timed! The prayer of Foucauld, you, Jackie and now us.
    Blessings and Love for Jackie and both of you. The prayer is going in my inner treasure chest.

  6. Amazingly beautiful and so touching to know that Dharmadevi’s mother uses this prayer. I also am heartened by the story of
    what a “dark” place the monk who wrote these words came from and how his journey took him right back to a place where
    he could write such beautifully heartfelt words.
    Thank you so much for posting this.

  7. Beautiful Share! The prayer touches the soul. Blessings and prayers to you and Dharmadevi as your support her mother’s transition.

  8. Namaste Nayaswami, offering heartfelt prayers for the sweet lady who is transitioning. Your words touched the heart! Keeping the heart soft and listening to the heart are the keys to staying connected to the divine.

  9. This is such a beautiful prayer, thank you. And my loving prayers for Jackie and you and Dharmadevi as you go through this phase in life.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Hope. It is a deeply inspiring prayer to aspire towards. Blessings, Narayan

  10. With so much godlessness in the world, there is ample opportunity and good reason to be critical of others, to affix blame, to find fault, to be partisan. Yet, only recently, I have sworn off complaining — about anything — however much I am able. There is something here that transcends reason. Finding fault implies judgment and therein a loss of innocence. “Lest ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Furthermore, “the kingdom of heaven is laid upon the earth but men do not see it.”

    It is not always possible to abandon the field, as it were, in meek acceptance of God’s Will. At those times I pray that my actions and decisions be informed by Divine Wisdom, such that I may always remember to be Humble and Kind.

    Thanks as always for putting me on your mailing list.

    1. Thank you for this beautiful, touching, sharing, and this pure example of Love for God and surrender! Prayers and Love for Jackie and you!

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