Catholic Vitamin S: Surrender

The highest aim of any spiritual path is Surrender. Our guest for this podcast is Denise Bossert – a lady who can attest to the power of surrender in her life.

Denise has been published by 43 diocesan papers since her conversion to the Catholic Church in 2005. She is the daughter of a Protestant minister and grew up in the state of Iowa. Following her father’s death in 2003, she went on a search for answers to the question of suffering. She found answers in the writings of St. John of the Cross. Today, she shares the story of grace that led her to the Catholic Church through writing and speaking.

If you are interested in reaching out to her, Denise would love to hear from you, and there are so many places and ways to contact her. We’ve put addresses below.

Denise is available to visit your parish or chancery or a group in your parish or town. You’ll also enjoy reading her work on the internet.

Denise Bossert at

denisebossert at

Article on Judith: page 4 of Canticle Magazine

Article on All Manner of Things: page 7 of Canticle Magazine

Article on Spiritual Mentoring: page 13 of Canticle Magazine

Archived articles from the St. Louis Review

Archived articles from The Advance – Diocese of Wichita

Some of Denise’s articles are available at Catholic Exchange as well.

Special thanks for Deacon Chuck Stevens for his beautiful meditation on the Jesus Prayer. Chuck offers a lot of great Catholic music and you can find him at:


From a 2009 Communion Service Reflection by Deacon Tom

“Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”

The royal official humbles himself even further and said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.

There are some who will hear these words and who have cancer or congestive heart failure or the beginnings of dementia or some other illness. Or perhaps we have a problem with a child… or with some other family member.

One of the messages of that Gospel narrative is found in this: There is a powerful person… a royal official – that’s us by the way. We have been given the gift – the richness of freedom… we are the Prodigal Sons and Daughters. For us it is Lent, and now we have a reason to come back to Jesus. We need to humble ourselves and surrender to his answer…

Jesus – will you remove my breast cancer? Will you create some circumstance to make my husband stay faithful? Will you help my child to stop using drugs? The Gospel story for today tells us that it’s okay to continue to plead further with Jesus – but we need to be willing to surrender to his decision.

My wife and I watched the movie Molokai over the weekend. You may have seen it – or you know that it’s about Father Damien who served the lepers on Molokai. One of the things that struck me was when Fr. Damien became ill with the disease – he didn’t continuously beg God for healing – he prayed to accept God’s will and to serve out his remaining days as long as God wanted him to do so.

Surrender seems easy for us as long as it’s over there… if it’s somewhere else. Surrender is tough if it is us and our circumstances. Let us pray for the gift of surrender to the Most Holy Will of God… in each and every circumstance… healing or no.

Surrender recognizes that our Hope is in Jesus – and he will give us the healing that we need… He will give us life.

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