More Than We Could Even Think To Ask

By: Rebecca Ruiz, Staff Spotlight

I was recently on a plane that was delayed on the tarmac for 2.5 hours. When we finally lifted into the air at 8:30 p.m., the passengers were tired and famished. Having a food allergy, I am accustomed to eating food substitutions that are not very tasty, especially when travelling. I am also accustomed to being served last.

So, when I heard the food carts coming, I was surprised when my food came out first. And, not only was I served first, but the food was amazing! It was fresh and full of flavor. There were beautiful colors all over my tray – a salad of greens and reds that tasted as if it had just been picked, a delicious and healthy entrée, and an overflowing bowl of blueberries and raspberries – the freshest of first fruits.

I sat there savoring each flavor and literally thanking God after each bite.

St IgnatiusI felt so blessed and cared for and couldn’t help but recall the Gospel passage: “Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Mt 20:16).

As I savored these freshest fruits, it also came to mind that God wants to give us more than we expect. He wants to give us more than we can even think to ask. Our minds are limited by our human capacity — God’s mind and ways are far beyond our ways. “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord, “and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” (Isaiah 55:8). If we would just let down our guard and really trust Him, He would give us more than we could ever hope to imagine.

Trust is an arguably difficult concept though. We live in a culture that values independence and the individual. To trust in anyone, even in God these days, is completely counter-cultural. Sadly, many people today mistake trust in God and are waiting to allow Him to work as a character weakness or an excuse for lack of initiative. Yet, when we really trust Him and allow Him to work, in His time, He makes things happen that are better and beyond anything we could plan – even with detailed lists and hours of planning.

St. Ignatius of Loyola composed a beautiful prayer called the Suscipe, which has helped me and countless others learn how to let go and to trust God.


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.

The Suscipe is a prayer of radical self-surrender. Most people can’t even comprehend what they are saying and asking for when they start praying this prayer — I certainly didn’t. I can tell you though, that it is a powerful prayer, and if you pray it daily, you will see God at work in your life.

And you will see that what He wants for us, His beloved children, is far more than we could even think to ask.

Trust. Pray. Believe.

Staff Spotlight is — in an ongoing effort to get a range of content on Encourage & Teach — content from staff members within the Diocese of Arlington from contributors who do not write as a part of their day-to-day job.

Rebecca Ruiz holds a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. from Tufts University. She serves as Development and Communications Manager at Catholic Charities’ Migration and Refugee Services.

3 thoughts on “More Than We Could Even Think To Ask

  1. Over at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church in Annandale VA, those wishing to pay a visit to the Perpetual Adoration Chapel there must enter a pass-code.

    Well, I went to visit the Chapel at around 10 PM this evening and noticed a woman of Asian Descent standing outside of the Chapel and looking at me intently as I walked from my car over to the door with the security code.

    At first, I felt a little anxious about her staring at me. My second thoughts where something like, Oh No! I hope she is not a Shaolin Monk or Ninja gone astray waiting to do me harm. Her deep gaze was so immovable that she exuded such confidence.

    After walking past her while looking as if not to seem like I was up to anything except going about my humble plans to visit the Sacrament, I heard her say, Excuse me sir. Do you know the security code for getting into the Chapel. At this point my slight anxiety melted away to a desire to assist this attractive middle aged women in getting into the Chapel. I thus proceeded to mention to her the security code and then entered it myself then opened the door so that she could pay the Good Lord a visit.

    Once we were inside the vestibule, she asked me to again recite the pass-code which I was happy to do. She then entered the code into her I-phone storage.

    I exchanged some cordial pleasantries with the attractive woman and mentioned how perhaps the pass-code instructions should be presented in multiple languages.

    Upon saying the rosary while occasionally glancing at this woman who was sitting about 4 rows of seats ahead of me, it occurred to me that she is likely not Catholic and perhaps not even having familiarity with the Christian faiths in general because the pass-code to be entered is clearly defined as: the number of Commandments; the number of Sacraments, and the number of Persons in the Trinity. She spoke an easy and fluent English although she did have a strong Asian accent.

    My prayers and hopes for her led me to suspect that perhaps the kind messages and the work being accomplished by the Synod which is now in session, as well as the kind and conciliatory language of Pope Francis in general has attracted her to the Catholic Faith. Judging from her quiet and humble demeanor before the Our Lord in the Sacrament present in the Chapel, I became certain of her well developed state of grace in the positive, and offered up the majority of my Rosary that she would; if possible, become a Canonized Saint.

    Point is, do not rush to judge folks based on initial casual encounters. Although I have decided to remain single, this Asian woman is the kind of person I would date if I were instead looking for a life marriage partner.

    Regardless, I now have what I feel is a new friend, and someone to remember in my daily and routine prayers.

  2. Dear James; I thought I was going to keel over from laughter after reading the third paragraph and I mean this in the nicest way. But isn’t this so true. In this day and age of mistrust it is so hard to know who to trust.
    I also do Adoration actually started as a fill in and that is another story. However we can also lock the chapel once inside. I do not believe in locked doors and pray I never will, you never know who will need to enter in time of need. Trust in our Father keeps me safe and there is always St. Michael. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

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