foucauld_iconeFather,
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

This wonderful Prayer of Abandonment is written by Charles de Foucauld. I have long had a fascination for him and his followers, including visiting his hermitages in the Sahara.

I am now trying to clarify details of this prayer in Blessed Charles’s life’s timeline.

One has it that Br Charles wrote this prayer while on retreat in Nazareth (November 1897)
Another has it that the Prayer of Abandonment is actually Br Charles’s reflection of Jesus’ prayer to his Father, written while he was a Cistercian in Akbès in Syria.
Does anyone have which one of these is correct, plus reference (especially web link)? Or maybe there’s even a different version of its history?

I also remember there was at least one individual who attempted to join Br Charles in his lifestyle, but left, having found it too austere. Can anyone tell me the name of this person (or persons) and any details? Thanks.

For readers here for whom Br Charles is new, here is a good summary from my e-friend Fr Michael:

Charles de Foucauld was born in Strasbourg on September 15, 1858. He grew up in an aristocratic family. He served as a French army officer in Algeria but left the army in 1882 and went as an explorer to Morocco.

In 1890 he joined the Trappist order, but left in 1897 to follow an as yet undefined religious vocation. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1901. Thereafter he left for the Sahara, living at first in Beni Abbès and later at Tamanrasset among the Tuaregs of the Hoggar. He wanted to be among those who were, “the furthest removed, the most abandoned.” He wanted all who drew close to him to find in him a brother, “a universal brother.” In a great respect for the culture and faith of those among whom he lived, his desire was to “shout the Gospel with his life”. “I would like to be sufficiently good that people would say, “If such is the servant, what must the Master be like?”

He wanted to establish a new religious order and wrote several rules for this religious life. This new order, the Little Brothers of Jesus, however, would not become a reality until after his death.

Charles de Foucauld was shot to death by rebels December 1, 1916. He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on November 13, 2005 and is considered a martyr of the Roman Catholic Church.

Some sources: The Spiritual Autobiography of Charles De Foucauld and Charles De Foucauld: Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series)

icon: Br Charles and Jesus by a Little Sister of Jesus

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