Father, I do not belong to myself, but to you,
and through belonging to you, I am also theirs:
a gift wholly given to them and for their sake.

Yes, this is the meaning of my obedience;
it is simply the expression of my filial dependency,
of my abiding in the truth of my belovedness
and in the relationship, my Father, that constitutes me
as the very Person that I am—as yours.

I can do nothing but what I see in you,
nothing but what I receive as your gift,
born in me through wonder and gratitude,
welcomed, embraced, and lived in docility.

This childlike belonging to Another,
to the One whom I love, and who loves me,
is the inner truth of my divine sovereignty,
the only source of my authentic liberty.

Yes, Father, and I lay down my life
freely and of my own accord,
not by compulsion, not in fear,
and I can freely take it up again:
yet this freedom is but the expression
of the utter reliance of my being on you,
my Father, from whom I cannot be separated
and before whom alone I am who I am.

I live the truth of who I am, Father,
not in grasping myself as a possession,
but in giving myself away to you,
which is simultaneously the welcoming,
in trusting docility and gratitude,
of the gift of who I am before you
and in ceaseless relationship with you.

Here acceptance and self-gift are one, inseparable,
the willingness to live in myself by going beyond myself,
and to go beyond myself by immersing myself in you,
refusing any private sphere of my own, any autonomous life,
and thus making my whole life a space, a home, for your gift,
so that you, my Father, live wholly in me, and I in you.

Ah, but in this moment, here and now,
this total donation of myself to you, Father,
must pass through the darkness of their pain,
through the very agony and estrangement of their sin.

I feel the trembling anxiety and fear
of the human heart before radical surrender,
surrender to a God who is silent and obscured from sight,
and whose presence, accepting this surrender,
is hidden, and upholds the heart in hiddenness.

Ah, Father, and this surrender passes
through betrayal, arrest, mocking, and torture,
and the darkness of the Cross that awaits…
in which I bear their burdens totally,
their fractured and broken lives like shards of glass,
piercing my naked and vulnerable Heart.

But only in this way can these shards of glass,
drawn together again from isolation and fragmentation,
be united again into harmony and unity,
fused together in the fires of Love
to form a single Body radiant with light.

Only in me, and in my mystical Body, the Church,
can each lonely and isolated human heart
find the home for which it longs and painfully thirsts:
the all-embracing communion for which it was made,
going beyond itself in self-surrender and trusting abandonment
so as to find itself, loved and embraced, by another,
living in the intimacy that is its very life,
at home finally with itself, in its authentic personal truth,
a truth inseparably bound to the gift of love from without,
the gift of our Love, my Father, cradling all within itself.

Ah, but my Father, to draw these hearts from isolation,
from the anguish of their suffering and loneliness,
I must experience and bear this pain myself.
I can only atone from this, making all at-one again,
if I bear all as one within myself, unreservedly.

My Father, my Father, my Heart and flesh tremble with fear.
My soul cries out, cries out:
Is there really no other way than this?
Is it not possible to remove this chalice from me?

I feel so weak, so incapable, before this pain,
before the sacrifice that is asked of me,
and I could turn away to avoid it…
but this is not possible, I know.
For in love I cannot withdraw my heart
from your beloved children whom I have embraced,
nor can I for a moment refuse to accept
that which comes from you, my Father.

It is precisely in my weakness that lies my strength,
for if I were to turn from the sphere of obedience,
from utter childlike reliance upon you,
and from the trusting acceptance of your will,
then I would lose the very wellspring of all strength,
and would cease to be free at all.

No, Father, I understand that it is not possible
to turn away and forego this chalice of compassion,
the burden of their pain and suffering offered to me,
and which I myself have for so long thirsted to embrace.

I only fix my gaze upon you, Father,
present even in the mystery of the darkness,
present in the heart of my cry of abandonment,
filling it with your breath, your Spirit,
and your own aching compassion.

And in you, Father, my gaze falls upon them,
who are covered in darkness and deeply ashamed,
hiding their faces from the light.
I will go to them, Father, I will go…
to be your Light for them in the darkness.