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Reflections for Lent 2020: Week 7

Franciscan-Clarian Spirituality Committee

The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross

“Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit”

(Lk 23:46)

Sr. Nancy Shively, OSC

Poor Clare Sister

Jesus prayed this prayer once that we know of – while hanging on the cross, handing himself wholly over to his Father, in complete trust amidst unbearable suffering, emptying himself of all self-defense.

Maybe Jesus meant for us to overhear this prayer so we could make it our own. Perhaps we should pray this prayer once a day, trusting in the Father’s providence and love for that day, amidst whatever we are facing. In emptying our self of the need to defend, satisfy, amplify or glorify our own self, we can make room for God to work in us as God so desires!

This is how Francis and Clare lived their lives; in total trust of the Father’s providence. They emptied themselves to be filled by Christ to do God’s holy will in their lives.

Giving over our spirit to another requires extraordinary trust, a yeoman’s letting go of control, beyond our human weakness to do. However, if we remember how faithful God has been to us up until now, we can find strength to take the next step of trust just for this day. And that’s all we need to do – take the next step and trust one more time. That is how we can let our spirit surrender to the greatest freedom there is – into God’s hands. Where would you rather be?


Gracious God, when life seems burdensome and troublesome, let me place my trust in you. Let me place myself into your hands, knowing all will be well. Amen.

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