Sunday, July 28, 2013

Abandonment to Divine Providence

Mary, an adorable boating captain and philosopher

Mary, my daughter, wanted to take me out in the row boat at my sister's cottage on Schisel's Lake in Manitowoc County.  I was a bit hesitant, nervous that we might become entangled in the weeds that circle the edges of the lake.  Mary looked at me with that smart look all twelve-year-old girls are capable of and simply said, "Mom!  Trust God!"  I reminded her that she is not God to which she retorted, "No, but I'm God's daughter, so trust me!"  I did and we had a lovely time.

As Mary did the hard work of rowing, I shared my favorite passage from the book I am currently reading, Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, with her.  When I finished reading, Mary, who had been listening very closely, chided me with, "See, Mom!  That passage was meant for you. Trust God, that's all you have to do!"  How simple she makes it seem, boiling down what in my eyes is a complex spiritual discipline, that is, trying to abandon myself to God's will, to the joy of relaxing on a boat ride on a small, rural lake.  My daughter, the spiritual master!

"Fools that we are!  We admire and bless this divine action in the writings relating its history, and when it is ready to continue this writing on our hearts, we keep moving the paper and prevent it writing by our curiosity, to see what it is doing in and around us.  Pardon, Divine Love, these defects; I can see them all in myself, for I am not yet able to understand how to let You act.  So far I have not allowed myself to be cast into the mould.  I have run through all Your workshops and have admired all Your works, but have not, as yet,by abandonment, received even the bare outlines of Your pencil.   Nevertheless I have found in You a kind Master, a Physician, a Father, a Beloved Friend.

I will now become Your disciple, and will frequent no other school than Yours.  Like the prodigal son I return hungering for Your bread.  I relinquish the ideas which tend only to the satisfaction of mental curiosity; I will no longer run after masters and books but will only make use of them as of other things that present themselves, not for my own satisfaction, but in dependence on the Divine action and in obedience to You.  For love of You and to discharge my debts I will confine myself to the essential business, that of the present moment, and thus enable You to act."
~from Abandonment to Divine Providence

Schisel's Lake from the cottage

Jack angling for a nibble

Mary and Jack

a view of the cottage from the boat

wild flowers

a wild onion

A wild dog?  No!  It's Marley, my sister's adorable dog.
I love Schisel's Lake!


  1. What a beautiful reprieve to let go and let God!~ Your daughter is a sweetie:) I read that book awhile back...I think I need to pick it back up. I'm in one of those valleys, feeling restless, wondering about God's plan...
    Hope you are enjoying a blessed summer, dear Anne!

  2. Anne, your daughter is beautiful and wise! Love your photos and what a lovely place to be!! I want to read this book for sure. It is always a struggle, the laying down ourselves, the surrendering so God can act through us. Thank you for another wonderful post and sharing your cottage time with us...God Bless

  3. Anne, this is the first blog I've looked at in over a month. You have a lovely daughter; that's a lovely book; have you gotten a new camera (all the pictures are still downloading).

    Wish I could get to visit all the churches you recommend in WI, but I just found out I will be returning to Appleton area much sooner than I expected -- a local priest is leading a pilgrimage to Mary's shrine near there. (Only this time, I won't get lost around Milwaukee again!) Hope all is well with you and yours.

  4. Thanks for your note, Tom! One of my sons actually bought me a cell phone and I love the camera feature better than anything else!

    It sounds like you will be visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion. It's the only approved Marian Shrine in the United States. You will love it!!! I'm so glad to hear that you will be able to visit, and that you won't get lost! Enjoy, and please pray for me when you are there! Know of my prayers for you, as well.