Holding on and Letting Go – Mystic Monday

Attribution:  © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Fall is a beautiful time of year.
The oak retains its leaves until spring.
To me it represents two favorable qualities,
(1) tenacity, and  (2) the ability to let go.

Tenacity is that quality where we decide to hold on
despite terrible, harsh circumstances all around us.
The ability to let go or yield to God
is not easy for most of us.

Sometimes we find it very difficult to ‘let go.’
It is difficult to release our loved ones to death.
It is difficult to relinquish control
of our own lives to our Creator.
We know that we should let go,
but we can’t bring ourselves to do it.
Sometimes letting go involves telling
a dying spouse, family member or friend,
“It’s OK to die.”

If we can learn to trust God in all things,
we will not find it so difficult to let go.

–David Yohe Bevington in
Hospice Stories and Poems to Assist You in the Grieving Process


O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.

(By St. Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556)

Link to book


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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6 Responses to Holding on and Letting Go – Mystic Monday

  1. Claire T. Lampert says:

    Apparently there is a fulcrum somewhere between holding on and letting go….perhaps it’s the weight we apply to one side or the other….fear of going down with a bang or going up and not coming back down…reminiscent of days in the park on the seesaw!

  2. A sharper eye on the next life than on this finite one will help us let go our fears and concerns. There is within each of us a soul yearning to return to God. Let us not disappoint that soul.

  3. How about the tenacity to yield? I realize that this excerpt is focused towards grieving, but the contrast between tenaciousness and yielding to God brought up a thought that frequents my mind. Often do I realize that it is best to yield to God in devotion and service, yet, though my faith doesn’t waiver, I fail to remain resolved, or tenacious, in my efforts to service and following a purpose of assisting others. The Lord grants me knowledge of the importance to help others through Christian charity and often I vow to do more, so I yield to his will, but I tend to lack that tenaciousness to carry through on a regular basis. I need to be mindful of the marriage of the Oak and Fall, beautifully combining the willingness to yield to Christ and have a tenacious resolve. I suppose this difficulty of combining the two exists also with the concept of compassion. How do we marry the two and recreate the beauty that God does with the Oak and fall?

    • Paul Wharton says:

      Nice post. Jesus said, “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” the struggle you write about is something St. Paul knew well in his own life. Remember how I ended my homily Sunday – “WITH GOD, all things are possible.”

      Yes, his is a serious response, but it’s on the wrong post. Still, I will count it and thank you for reading and commenting. Have your folks in Maryland make a comment, too. The more the merrier. It’s all for a good cause.

  4. Father P, that counts as a serious comment (refererring to the after Mass announcement yesterday).

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