featured image

I met a woman recently, named Judy from Cincinnati, who told me that after decades of living in fear and anxiety, she now lives in a state of peace, sometimes an ecstatic, heavenly peace—every day. "What caused this to happen?" I asked her.

She answered, "A special novena that I pray every morning. Let me give you a little of my history, so you'll better understand what a gift these simple prayers have been to me. My life was not a pretty sight."

Judy then shared how she grew up in a home riddled with abuse. Her alcoholic father, her contentious mother, and her seven siblings could be "awful." As an example, one sister, who was a redhead, disliked her from the moment she was born, and Judy never could understand why. Finally, this older sister said to Judy in her eighties, "I've always hated you."

"Why?" asked Judy.

"Because our brother wanted a sister with brown hair, and then out you came with your brown hair. And I wanna know what the heck's wrong with red hair?" Inordinate jealousy had eaten away at her soul for seventy years. Judy added that this sister was nicer than her brothers "who were the type to tie cats' tails together and light their butts on fire."

Judy grew up and life didn't get any easier when she married a bi-polar man, who fought his own demons every day of his life and didn't always win. While possessing a beautiful spirit, he was also a time bomb, and she and her children never knew when he might explode in a rage. Judy was never allowed to become the nurse she wanted to be, even after she enrolled in school, because her husband feared she would have an affair with a doctor. "Nurses don't even like doctors," she responded. But her husband forbade it, and so she had to work alongside him doing manual labor for thirty years, which meant she was verbally abused by him not just at home but also on the job. Before he died, when Judy was sixty-six, her husband suffered from cancer for eight long, difficult years.

From a young age, Judy possessed a disposition and outlook on life of fear and negativity. She worried about the future of the world, thought of suicide many times, and stewed with anger and resentment. She had her Catholic faith and would pray often and with great fervor but didn't like herself and didn't believe that God truly loved her. Then when she was sixty-eight, her priest spiritual director handed her a Novena of Abandonment, which he said Jesus had dictated to Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970), a humble scholar and mystic from Naples, Italy, who had the stigmata and was known as a miracle worker. St. Padre Pio said of Fr. Dolindo, whose name means "Pain": "The whole of paradise is in your soul." Judy's spiritual director urged her to make the novena often because Jesus had given it to the world to teach us how to find peace and happiness in these uncertain and anxious times.

Judy took her spiritual director's advice to heart and started praying  the novena every morning without fail. At first she wasn't sure if she liked it because she didn't believe God really loved her and would therefore not respond to her prayers of surrender. After a just couple of weeks, however, she noticed a profound change in her soul—a happiness and freedom that was palpable and increased over time. She explained it to me this way:

"I can't tell you how much joy God has given me through the novena prayers, which I've said every morning for four years now. I trust God with everything now. People can be upset around me, but I don't take it personally. Troubles come, big ones and little ones, every day, and I believe that God will take care of them. I used to worry about floods because I live near a dam, now God can sweep me away if he wants to. God has become very real to me, and I see his gifts for me everywhere: in the miracles he performs when I stop worrying and release problems into his hands; in my little dog who is the only one with me in my parish directory photo; in my beautiful kids and grandkids, who mean the world to me; in the knee replacement surgery that reduced my pain; in the fact that I no longer burden people with my problems but bring them my joy, instead.  I'm so happy now, and the gift of surrendering to God in my soul has brought me a deep peace that I never knew was possible. I don't have much materially, but I don't want anything, just God and heaven. That's enough for me."

Surrender Novena:

Day 1

Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying?
Leave the care of your affairs to me,
and everything will be peaceful.
I say to you in truth that every act of true,
blind, complete surrender to me
produces the effect that you desire
and resolves all difficult situations.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Day 2

Surrender to me does not mean to fret,
to be upset, or to lose hope,
nor does it mean offering to me a worried prayer
asking me to follow you
and change your worry into prayer.
It is against this surrender,
deeply against it, to worry,
to be nervous
and to desire to think about the consequences of anything.
It is like the confusion that children feel
when they ask their mother to see to their needs
and then try to take care of those needs for themselves
so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s way.
Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul,
to turn away from thoughts of tribulation,
and to put yourself in my care.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Day 3

How many things I do when the soul
in so much spiritual and material need turns to me,
looks at me, and says to me;
“You take care of it,”
then close its eyes and rests.
In pain, you pray for me to act,
but that I act in the way you want.
You do not turn to me.
Instead, you want me to adapt to your ideas.
You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you,
but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to.
So do not act this way,
but pray as I taught you in the Our Father:
“Hallowed be Thy Name,"
that is, "Be glorified in my need."
“Thy kingdom come,"
that is, "Let all that is in us
and in the world be in accord with Your kingdom."
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,"
that is, "In our need,
decide as You see fit for our temporal and eternal life."
If you say to me truly:
“Thy will be done,”
which is the same as saying,
“You take care of it,”
I will intervene with all my omnipotence,
and I will resolve the most difficult situations.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Day 4

You see evil growing instead of weakening?
Do not worry.
Close your eyes and say to me with faith:
“Thy will be done. You take care of it.”
I say to you that I will take care of it,
and that I will intervene as does a doctor,
and I will accomplish miracles when they are needed.
Do you see that the sick person is getting worse?
Do not be upset,
but close your eyes and say
“You take care of it.”
I say to you that I will take care of it,
and that there is no medicine
more powerful than my loving intervention.
By my love, I promise this to you.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Day 5

And when I must lead you on a path different from the one you see,
I will prepare you;
I will carry you in my arms;
I will let you find yourself,
like children who have fallen asleep in their mother’s arms
on the other bank of the river.
What troubles you and hurts you immensely are your reason,
your thoughts, and worry,
and your desire at all costs to deal with what afflicts you.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Day 6

You are sleepless;
you want to judge everything,
direct everything, and see to everything,
and you surrender to human strength,
or worse—to men, themselves,
trusting in their intervention.
This what hinders my words and my views.
Oh, how much I wish from you this surrender to help you,
and how I suffer when I see you so agitated!
Satan tries to do exactly this:
to agitate you and to remove you from my protection
and to throw you into the jaws of human initiative.
So, trust only in me,
rest in me,
surrender to me in everything.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Day 7

I perform miracles in proportion to your full surrender to me
and to your not thinking of yourselves.
I sow treasure troves of graces when you are in the deepest poverty.
No person of reason, no thinker,
has ever performed miracles,
not even among the saints.
He does divine works whosoever surrenders to God.
So don’t think about it anymore
because your mind is acute,
and for you, it is very hard to see evil
and to trust in me
and to not think of yourself.
Do this for all your needs.
Do this, all of you,
and you will see great, continual, silent miracles.
I will take care of things,
I promise this to you.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Day 8

Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away
on the flowing current of my grace;
close your eyes and do not think of the present,
turning your thoughts away from the future,
just as you would from temptation.
Repose in me, believing in my goodness,
and I promise you by my love that if you say,
"You take care of it,” I will take care of it all;
I will console you,
liberate you, and guide you.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Day 9

Pray always in readiness to surrender,
and you will receive from it great peace and great rewards,
even when I confer on you the grace of immolation,
of repentance, and of love.
Then, what does suffering matter?
It seems impossible to you?
Close your eyes and say with all your soul,
“Jesus, you take care of it.”
Do not be afraid, I will take care of things,
and you will bless my Name by humbling yourself.
A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender—
remember this well.
There is no novena more effective than this.

Repeat 10 times:
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you,
take care of everything!

Mother, I am yours now and forever.
Through you and with you
I always want to belong completely to Jesus.


Download the Novena of Abandonment in PDF format.

Copyright 2015 Christine Watkins
Photo: Canva Pro