If we surrender ourselves fully to God, we can receive powerful peace and clarity, said Archbishop Alexander Sample during his Chapel Chat April 30.

“Even in the midst of all the turmoil, all the troubles, all the problems, all of the things that discourage us, all the signs that seem to point in a very negative direction that the world and maybe even the church is going, I believe the Lord is really asking us to surrender to him,” said the archbishop, speaking from his home chapel after a brief hiatus from the weekly livestreamed mediations.

The archbishop’s message on surrendering to divine providence was preceded by his own experience with the Surrender Novena, which for the past few months he’s been encouraging Catholics to pray.

The novena was composed by Father Dolindo Ruotolo (1882-1970), an Italian priest who at one point was spiritual director to St. Padre Pio.

The archbishop said that as soon as he began the nine-day prayer, “doors began to open in my life as a bishop, and new ideas began to surface.”

He said he has the propensity to be a bit controlling at times when it comes to his well-intentioned vision for the archdiocese. With the Surrender Novena, the archbishop feels the Lord is saying to him: “Finally, Sample, you have gotten out of my way, you’ve gotten out of your way with your own ideas, own ingenuity, own desire to be very strategic and have everything worked out according to your own plans and ideas. You have surrendered everything to me, and now I can act in your life and in the life of your local church.”

The archbishop said he believes this surrendering to Jesus is helping the archdiocese be a part of “something marvelous, something new.”

Oregon, and Portland in particular, have been in the news for negative events and in a sense Portland “is a poster child of all the ills of our society today,” he said.

But he believes God is working on the church and the world and that western Oregon “is meant to play a special role in that.” And, he said, “it all comes from surrendering to Jesus and letting Jesus take charge.”

He added that surrendering does not mean sitting back and doing nothing. Instead, it means we allow ourselves to be God’s instruments and remember that God loves us — and the world and the church — more than we ever can.

“He will see to it that we have the graces and the inspiration and direction and the help we need to accomplish his will in our lives and in the life of our church,” said the archbishop.

At the close of the half-hour Chapel Chat, the archbishop noted May 7 is a retreat for priests in the archdiocese.

He asked for prayers that it “truly be a time of grace for us” and that the Holy Spirit helps the men grow in faith, hope and love, and increases their trust in and surrender to Jesus.