Take, Receive – An Audio Meditation

You can download a version of this meditation without music.


St Ignatius’ Suscipe prayer is all about our surrender to the loving care of God, a God who lifts up, encourages, and cherishes us. Let us begin our time of meditation with this prayer.

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.

This prayer is all about receiving God’s gifts but being willing to return them to God, only desiring God’s love and grace as sufficient. While we usually think of God’s gifts as circumstances or physical things in our lives we don’t think about these less tangible concepts Ignatius calls out in his prayer: liberty, memory, understanding, and will. But these, too, are gifts. By holding them lightly and by our willingness to let them go, we acknowledge them as gifts.

Let us reflect on these four gifts in our lives…

Liberty
Take, Lord, and receive my liberty. The gift of liberty is all about being freed, freed from the traps of the ego, the things that hold us back from fully being in union with God. I choose to live for God rather than self. I choose to be freed from the assumption I can do what I want and have control over everything. How is God seeking to liberate me? What do I need freedom from?

Memory
Take, Lord, and receive my memory. St. Ignatius believed that God could use the gift of memory to speak to us. Our minds and hearts often return to memories of God’s faithfulness, like Mary sings in her Magnificat. Sometimes our memories are painful. Other times, our memory reveals how we have been near or far from God. Are there any past events in my life I find myself clinging to that I need to let go of? And what are the memories I have of God’s goodness?

Understanding
Take, Lord, and receive my understanding. The gift of understanding is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. God gave it to us to help us come to know the right way to live amidst different messages and voices around us. It guides us to where we need be. But it doesn’t mean we understand all things. There can be a danger in trying to cling to certainty, needing an explanation for things that sometimes cannot be explained. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8, NRSV) How do I respond to confusion in my life? Do I have the need to have an explanation for everything?

Will
Take, Lord, and receive my will. Free will is inherent to the dignity of my personhood, it is a gift from God. Each day I make choices that affect me and others in this world. God deeply respects my freedom, even if I sometimes misuse this gift. Do I recognise the power of my will and ability to choose? Are there areas of my life I don’t have the ability to choose? How do I feel about that?

We will conclude again with Ignatius’ prayer, but this time we hold each gift more lightly, remembering that all we truly need is God’s love and grace – all else is gift.

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.