Simply surrender

By  Sophie Freynet, Youth Speak News
  • January 5, 2007
I have recently discovered the importance of surrendering to Christ, giving up my questions and anxieties to God and adopting a child-like faith. Looking back on my journey of faith, I realize that I learned this lesson, not without difficulties, partially through my quest of faith in the summer of 2004, when I travelled throughout eastern Canada to visit various religious communities.

My destination: four different religious communities, including, Madonna House in  Combermere, Ont., Famille Myriam Bethléem in Cap Chat, Que., Famille Marie-Jeunesse in Sherbrooke, Que., and Catholic Christian Outreach on a mission trip in Halifax. My method of transportation: one Greyhound 30-day bus pass. My travel partner: the Holy Sprit.

Visiting each community for a maximum of one week, I was fortunate to take part in their everyday activities. I went from helping with chores on an organic farm at Madonna House to hiking in Gaspésie Park during a family retreat with Famille Myriam Bethléem, to taking part in meditative chants with Famille Marie-Jeunesse and picnicking at Peggy's Cove with student missionaries from CCO.

People shared their homes, wisdom and resources with me. I was touched. A simple yet meaningful example of this was the time I found a small card on my pillow upon my arrival in one of the communities, on which was inscribed: "It is your face I seek O Lord" (Psalm 27: 8). This simple message spoke perfectly to the way I felt.

Travelling to visit different communities of faith proved an enlightening and exciting journey, but it was also a trying one. The more I discovered about my faith, the more I realized there was much to learn and the more anxious I felt about finding answers; I felt that I could not fully quench my thirst for learning. Moreover, I was perplexed because the people in the communities seemed content and unquestioning in their everyday lives, surrendered to Christ. I saw this as "blind faith," something I refused to have.

While the places, people and questions changed, the one element that prevailed in my quest for "Truth" was each community's example of a joyful faith, simply surrendered to God. I would later find out that this simple surrender is what is most important.

It is through adopting a child-like faith that my unrest was quelled in my search. As St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church and great inquirer for truth, said, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in You."

I have come to accept that there will always be questions. And these questions are important. Our church is rich in answers, which are worth pursuing because they help us get to know our Lord better. However, it is most important to allow the Lord to reveal His face to us.

Simply surrendering is something I have to choose to do on a daily basis. It helps to know that there are various, diverse communities of faith that lead the way.

For more information about the communities I visited, visit their web sites: Catholic Christian Outreach at www.cco.ca; Famille Marie-Jeunesse at www.marie-jeunesse.org; Famille Myriam Bethléem at   www.famillemyriam.org; and Madonna House at www.madonnahouse.org.

(Freynet, 21, studies international development and globalization at the University of Ottawa.)

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