prayer for those who have turned away

We can understand death and sickness and even poverty, Lord; but how can anyone turn away from you after having known your grace? That is an unfathomable mystery to us.

After all, it would be quite easy for you to make the signs of your grace so obvious that no one could have any more doubts about them or to bring back those who are leaving with a gentle call: and you do not do it, in your wisdom, you do not do it.

Lord, allow us just the same to beg you with our whole soul that our cry might pierce through the lukewarmness of those who are drawing back; let our members suffer for them, accept every sacrifice for them, only, we implore you, enable them to return, make it easy for them, and in exchange let us pay the price that you deem just. We will try to give you what you take, but grant them anew your faith, your grace.

And at the same time we know that we ourselves take our faith too lightly and are given over and over again to promises that seem hard when it comes time to keep them.

Lord, grant us all your mercy and strengthen our weakness. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 52-53

prayer for constancy

Lord our God, give your children ready perseverance in loving you. You know all too well what we are like: moved by your goodness when it comes to us unexpectedly, dismayed by your severity when it reveals itself to us with its demands.

When we live through happy or hard days, we think of you, seeing what comes from you; but in the monotony of every day we grow lukewarm, we forget you, we keep you far from our thoughts and from our action, as if we needed you only on the eventful days, as if we wanted to have you at our disposal.

We beg you, change this, let us turn back while there is time, act decisively, tear out our tepidity, replace it with fire or cold or with both at once, only, allow your Spirit to blow in us.

Destroy everything that is not yours, and let us think no thought whose center is not you, so that by this destruction we are compelled to a livelier love.

We do not demand of this love that it be painful or delightful, only that it be yours, forevermore.

Lord, give us the grace to offer you again and again what you have given us. Only in this way will we unprofitable servants not remain fruitless.

Bless your love in us, so that it may yield the fruits that you desire. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 51-52

suscipe commentary - 8 of 8

Suscipe of Saint Ignatius

"Then I am rich enough."

Rich and enabled to serve you, for your love contains everything needed by one who believes and hopes. Thanks to this love I am as rich as you yourself in your return to the Father after the accomplishment of your mission. As rich as the Father when he welcomed you back, as rich as the Spirit when he reunited you two, because your triune love is so infinite that there is room in it for everything and is enriching only as a creature can be filled to overflowing with goods when it lives by the love and grace of God. For faith can wish for nothing with greater longing than to take part in eternal love, and love can eternally love only itself in its triune fulfillment.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 49

suscipe commentary - 7 of 8

Suscipe of Saint Ignatius

"Give me only your love and your grace"

Your love was always the love of the triune God, in which you allowed us to participate and which we have idly spurned by sinning. Give me this love now on the condition that I deem it the highest good and do not prove myself unworthy of it time and again. I need it more urgently than the air I breathe; therefore, let it be such an urgent imperative for me that it becomes a spur prodding me to serve you better. Let it be offered to you along with everything else; let me treasure it as you yourself love the Father whom you obey.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 49

suscipe commentary - 6 of 8

Suscipe of Saint Ignatius

"I commit it to you for your entire disposition"

Let it be so completely entrusted to you that you can utilize it without regard for the giver, like anything you please, which you are free to use or not; I pray you, consider it your property, just as I, alas, considered it my property as long as it was in my hands. I would like to leave it in your hands without counting the cost and without ulterior motives and from now on see in all reality, in things and days and nights, northing but your property, which is yours to do with as you please and which by that very fact alone acquires new meaning.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Man: Prayers, 48

suscipe commentary - 5 of 8

Suscipe of Saint Ignatius

"to you I return it all"

Not by scorning it and casting it away, for I would like to offer it to you just as I received it, as little damaged as possible, with no other meaning and value than those you intended when you gave it to me. I would also like to offer it to you in as living a way as I received it from you.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 48

suscipe commentary - 4 of 8

Suscipe of Saint Ignatius

"you have given me all that I have and possess"

Lord, you have given me the things I need in order to live--daily nourishment, life with all its small, often unnecessary comforts. You have also given me time out of your own store of time, the days to wrk and the nights to rest. you have given me thoughts, prayer, and, finally, everything I myself am and have and become. All this is your gift, and I have no right to anything. I have earned none of it for myself and have received nothing from anyone but you.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 47-48

suscipe commentary - 3 of 8

Suscipe of Saint Ignatius

"my memory, my understanding, and my entire will"

Take my memory, so that it may no longer be filled up with things that belong to me but may be cleared out and made ready for you again, ready to hold only what you store in it. Take it as you would take an object that until now has served a particular end but that has just been freed up for any sort of employment you have in mind for it. And take my understanding, which clung to so many things and tried to grasp so many things that were not of you. May it become an understanding of your service, which is at your disposal, so that it takes in only what you want to enrich it with and what can be of service to you. Therefore, let everything it contains that is incompatible with you and your intentions sink into oblivion. Take also my will, which was so often just self-will, which over and over again distanced itself from you. Take it away from me at last and fashion from it a particle, as it were, of your will, which is always filled with doing the Father's will.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayer, 47

suscipe commentary - 2 of 8

Suscipe of Saint Ignatius

"my entire liberty"

The freedom of my days, the freedom of my thoughts, the freedom of my work, even the freedom of my prayer. Make out of all this freedom a pure service of your freedom; dispose freely of my freedom; see in it nothing beyond my wish to serve you. This is the choice I now make: to commit my entire freedom to you.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 46

suscipe commentary - 1 of 8

Suscipe of Saint Ignatius

"Take, Lord, receive"

Take my whole life, take it, I pray you, just as it is now, with everything that goes into it, with my powers, my desires and efforts, but also with everything in me that still tends away from you, everything I have laid in reserve for myself; take all of this, along with everything else, which I now offer you. Take everything and make it entirely yours.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 46

prayer at the approach of death

Lord, because we take your death so lightly that we rarely even think about it, the thought of our own death is also strange and distant. Even when stern messengers forewarn us, we manage to stifle the thought of our death and to go on living as if our earthly existence would never end.

And yet one day we realize that we have to die; grant, Lord, that we will not be wholly unprepared. Let us understand our death in relation to your death: let us know that you died for us all and that when we die we have no choice but to be with you.

You have transformed the punishment of our death into the grace of the eternal life to come. You permit us to rejoice in this gift of yours. Even when the passage proves difficult, even when the pains become overpowering, while the anguish increases and uncertainty masters us, let all this agony happen if you will it so, so that you may get something from our life, a late fruit that is a last at your disposal.

Let us die just as you will, whether in fear or in absolute pain or in sleep or perceiving death approach hour by hour. But however it may turn out, let us not abandon the thought of you but rather know that every death, even death in darkness, is your property and has already been experienced in you on the Cross.

Let us die as believers whose faith also shines upon the others who assist at our death, brings them help now, and perhaps later, when their own hour comes, gives them consolation.

Lord, make known your presence to all who survive us; help them to weather their grief, be with them to the end of their days. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 44-46

prayer of an old nun

Dear God, you know that I became a nun in order to serve you and that my decision was not exactly easy.

You gave me confidence back then; I knew that you had chosen this way for me yourself. And you have given me from day to day my whole life long new courage to try to offer you everything.

But you know how it goes in a life that is supposed to be consecrated to you: both the small and the relatively big sacrifices recur in a sort of regular rhythm, so that one gets a little used to them.

And now you are asking for a really big sacrifice: I am supposed to put back in your hands my life as a nun just as you gave it to me. I cannot walk any longer, I cannot work, I cannot choose myself what to offer to you throughout the day. Sacrifice has now taken on a different form: I must simply accept everything and can only offer you again and again the prayer that all may be done according to your will.

Show me, I ask you, how to do this, so that you may be pleased, so that you can recognize in me your own service, so that it is no longer I, but you in me, who perform it, you with your Mother and with all the saints.

This doing will thus become fruitful and partake of the fruitfulness of every hour of your life.

I pray you, do not let me grow weary, even in my weariness, of offering up everything to you. And bless this suffering, for your whole Church and for all who seek the way to you. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 42-44

prayer for times of weariness

Dear God, I am too weary to pray, And you learned on the Cross how great weariness can be.

I beg you, let all your angels and all your saints so adore you that nothing is missing from adoration. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 42

prayer for the right use of illness

Lord, bless the sick. All who know or feel that they are sick, all who are in pain, all who are about to die.

Bless them not merely with enough strength to endure the pain, bless them also so that they may learn to bear it for you and to see in suffering a grace. Show them that every suffering has been given a meaning by your suffering on the Cross, a meaning that the Father has integrated into the meaning of your own suffering and has made useful for the redemption of the world.

Show them that, if they are willing to suffer in your name, pain and illness become fruitful; that you can use them to help others, to lighten their load, to unblock paths that would otherwise be closed.

Give them not only strength and courage but also patience. Give them, lastly, love for the sufferings that are asked of them: the love that can spring only from your love and can bear fruit only together with your love-- even though this fruit is hidden from their sight, even though they do not know where you intend to use the grace that comes from their suffering.

May your grace enable them to radiate such love in the midst of their illness that others are infected by it, that their suffering helps to transfigure the suffering of others, that it reveals to the nurses and doctors who work with them a reality that until now they had not known, that it becomes a fresh revelation to their visitors of the meaning of life and death.

Give them all such a state of maturity that they may accept absolutely everything as coming from your hand and see in every pain something that surpasses all pain; your grace. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 40-42

prayer through mary to christ 1 of 2

Through Mary to Christ


Lord, before you became man and entered into your Passion, you invited your Mother to serve you as mother, to bear your sacrifice with you, but also to share with you your joys.

And the grace with which you endowed her and by which she became your Mother is so inexhaustibly great that there is room in it for all who seek you, for all who in their faith desire to offer you sacrifices. The sacrifice of a life in your service, perhaps even the sacrifice of giving up this service, or the sacrifice of unforeseen humiliations and sufferings.

And because you so loved your Mother and granted her such a pure love for you, we ask you, Lord, to receive us, too, every day into this grace, to show us a place in your relationship to your Mother, a place that allows us to offer up anew each one of her sacrifices, to experience together with you each one of her joys, and to do forever precisely what the Mother, with you, and with the Father and the Spirit and all the citizens of heaven, expect of us. Grant us the joy and the grace of serving today and in eternity. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 39-40

prayer through mary to christ I of 2

Through Mary to Christ


Through you, Mother, we have come to your Son. You conceived him, you carried him, you gave birth to him, you accompanied him throughout his life, in order to bring him to us and to give him to us.

And also in order to show us how a man can bear and understand him, how a man can place his life within the life of your Son, so as to receive it from him.

In order to convey to us the gift of his infancy, of his years at home with you, the fight of his public life and of the hour of his Passion. At every phase of his life you were so involved that everything his presence conveyed found room in your receptive heart. Yet not for you, but for us.

By your Yes, you placed yourself so totally at the disposal of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that the triune God gave us to the Son right through you.

You led us to him, but you were always so much in God, so much within your mission and your own Yes, that your only desire was to act as the conveyor of the gift and not as the original giver.

Yet for that very reason your act of conveying also became a gift that came from your humility and that your humility gave us. A gift to us, but also a gift to God.

And we would like to ask you today to accept into your Yes all that makes up our lives, not just its joys, but also its sacrifices, the roads we take that we had not reckoned on before. Do this so that we may once again come to your Son through you. So that through you, who knew so well how to carry out the Son's will, we, too, may now accept anew everything he intends for us in the will of the Father, may now will it anew because it is his will. But also that through you we may will anew, with you, grateful that everything you did occurred entirely within his mission.

And when the sacrifice costs more than we thought, when it is harder to bear than we imagined, we want to remember that you did not shrink in fear from any sacrifice, and that you did everything in the joy of your Yes. And we want to ask you to intercede for us with the Father, with your Son, and with the Spirit, so that we may be permitted to live by your strength, to come in reality to the Son through you, and to do in him what you have done from him all along.

And when you see your angel, Mother, remember that his appearance assured you of the way. Ask him to surround us with care out of love for you, just as he did for you, to intercede for us just as he interceded for you and, by his appearing, gave you the power to say Yes in faith to everything. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 36-38

prayer in passing time

Father, you have entrusted to us this passing time as a gift of your grace and presence. As you live in eternal time, so we--as long as we live--must exist in transitory time. Not abandoned by you, but in a connection with you that you prepared and provided from creation and that has gained new density and strength through the coming of your Son.

And if the years vanish in their course, they are still only successions of days that pass right through us as we pass through them in order to seek constantly what you have to show us, to experience constantly your love in new ways, to remain constantly in your embrace, just as the whole of time remains in the embrace of eternity.

We know that we are in your hand, that you shape all things, that you demand of us only the attempt to love you as steadfastly as we can. Not you in isolation, but you with your Son and your Spirit in the unity you manifest from the primordial beginning of eternity.

Our love can only be response and requital, because you, triune, eternal Love, always love us first; but do not permit this answer to wane in us; rather, let it be so vigorous that you can always perceive in it the reflected brilliance of your light. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 34-35

prayer for indifference

Lord, you know that I would like to serve you but that I am still attached to my work and to my judgment; that I am constantly scurrying back into myself to survey everything for my angle of vision: that I do this in order not to do that, that I desire this and loathe that.

Whereas you showed us in every moment of your earthly life, and especially on the Cross, what it means to do the will of another. For you this other was the Father, the Father who is so perfect that you regarded every one of his decisions as perfect and accepted it in advance, without sizing it up first yourself.

Not because of any judgment you might have arrived at after trying and weighing each case, but out of love. Your love for the Father took the place of your personal scrutiny once and for all.

And you have also given the gift of this love to your saints; and your saint Ignatius has spoken and has written about it and has shown how the will of the superior, the will of the Father, the divine will pure and simple, is the decision motive for the one who loves, for the one who no longer cares for anything but the wish of the beloved.

Grant us a share in this power of your Sonship, allow us to learn to love the Father in the way that you love him, to come to home through you and your filial attitude, to become obedient by the strength of your perfect obedience, to become indifferent by your indifference.

Grant that we may no longer seek our own interests in anything, but that, together with your saint Ignatius, our interest may go immediately to you, and we ourselves may become indifferent to the very core of our heart; not in order to lose all interest in you and the world, but in order to begin, at long last, to love you and the Father in the Holy Spirit above all things. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 29-31

prayer for renewal of the spirit

Dear Lord, you see how we get used to everything. It was with joy that we once took up your service, firmly resolved to be totally dedicated to you. But because every day brings nearly the same thing over and over again, it seems that our prayer has contracted.

We limit it to ourselves and to what we deem necessary for the task we have to perform right now, so that in the end our prayer has been reduced to the dimensions of this small chore.

We beseech you now, do not permit us to become so narrow. Give us new breadth, give us once more something of the elastic vigor of Mary's Yes, which is ready for the entire divine will, which always remains as wide as it was when it was first pronounced, and which is ratified anew every day. Whether Mary rejoiced or was afraid or hoped, whether she was tired from her daily round of duties or was being led to the Cross: she always stood before you as if for the first time, was always obedient to whatever you said, always hoped to be allowed to do all that you wished, always saw behind every one of your wishes, even the most insignificant, the great, unlimited will of the Father, which you, her Son, were fulfilling.

Grant that we may contemplate and affirm you and your Church, and carry out the requirements of our mission in an ever new spirit, the spirit of the Mother's Yes. Grant also that we may pray for this spirit. We know that wherever you send your Spirit, you yourself are present. The Spirit brought you to your Mother, the Spirit enabled her to carry you, to give birth to you, to surround you with care. And because you recognized your own Spirit in her, you formed your Church from her.

And since you have called us into this Church: make of every one of us a place where the Spirit of your Church blows, where, together with you and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the will of your Father, of our Father, is done, so that we may dare to pray in earnest: "You, our Father, who art in heaven..." Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 27-29

prayer to the risen lord

Lord, we thank you for the Easter feast. We thank you that after your death and your descent into hell, after tasting to the full every kind of abandonment, you have returned to us; that you have remembered our insignificant abandonment and overwhelmed it with the radiant fullness of your presence.

Although you suffered the death that we caused by the burden of our sins, you come back to us as our brother with the fight of your redemption. You do not make us pay for having brought you to the Cross but let us take part in your joy. You celebrate a reunion with us as if we had never been unfaithful, as if we had always awaited you with faithful trust, as if we were capable of adding something ourselves to your joy.

Lord, make us grateful. Let the thanks we owe you and your Mother always accompany us from now on, let them bear fruit, let them be the pervasive spirit of our service.

Let us be redeemed men who truly fill their whole life with your redemptional follow you wherever you go, and attempt to do your will, just as you do the Father's will.

Do not let us merely enjoy the fruit of your Passion and of your redemption; let us try starting today, to know you as our brother, as our true redeemer ever in our midst, and always to bear in mind that you are present and that you have repaid our unfaithfulness with fidelity and our unbelief with even greater grace.

Let every day, whether hard or easy, dawn as a day that holds the express, or even hidden, joy of knowing that you have redeemed us and, returning to the Father, have taken us back with you. We ask you now for your Easter blessing; may it include the blessing of the Father and of the Spirit. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 25-27