Spirituality of Letting Go: Week 2
Summary: Sunday, September 4-Friday, September 9, 2016
Francis of Assisi brought the mystery of the cross to its universal application (far beyond the Christian logo), for he learned that both the receiving of love, and the letting go of it for others, are always a very real dying to our present state. (Sunday)
Both Francis and Clare lost and let go of all fear of suffering; all need for power, prestige, and possessions; any need for their small self to be important; and they came out the other side knowing something essential—who they really were in God and thus who they really were. (Monday)
Mystics like Francis and Clare lived from a place of conscious, chosen, and loving union with God; such union was realized by surrendering to it, not by achieving it. (Tuesday)
“Isolated, independent existence must be given up in order to enter into broader and potentially deeper levels of existence. Bonaventure speaks of life in God as a ‘mystical death,’ a dying into love.” —Ilia Delio (Wednesday)
Healthy religion is always about love. All we can do is get out of the way. (Thursday)
I’m not afraid to let go of life because I have life. I am life. I know life is somehow eternal—so broad and deep it can even contain death!—and another form of life is waiting for me. (Friday)
Practice: The Virgin Prayer
God regarded her in her lowliness. —Luke 1:48
You must seek to be a blank slate.
You must desire to remain unwritten on.
No choosing of this or that.
Not “I am good because.”
Nor “I am not good because.”
Neither excitement nor boredom.
An unchosen virgin,
And unchoosing too, just empty.
No story line by which to start the day.
No identity enhancers nor losses
To make yourself valuable or not.
Nothing interesting, nothing uninteresting,
Neither against, nor for something.
Nothing to recall from yesterday.
Nothing to look forward to today.
Just me, naked, exposed,
No self to fix, change, or find,
Nothing to judge right or wrong,
Important or unimportant,
Worthy or unworthy,
I stand and wait,
neither powerful nor powerless,
For You to name me,
For You to look upon my face,
For You to write my script,
For You to give the kiss,
In your time and your way.
You always do.
And it is always so much better.
“And she gave birth to her firstborn” (Luke 2:7), who was the Christ.
Gateway to Silence:
Surrender to love.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2009), 174-175.
For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi
Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer