Slowly…she celebrated the sacrament of letting go

This contemplation is offered as an invitation to let go as the season of Autumn arrives with its colder, shorter days…

The Sacrament of Letting Go 

from ‘Seasons of your Heart’ by Macrina Wiederkehr

I worry too much.  Autumn trees ask me not to worry.  They, like Jesus, suggest trust rather than worry.  So often in Autumn I want to go and lean my head against a tree and ask what it feels like to lose so much, to be so empty, so detached, to take off one’s shoes, and then simply to stand and wait for God’s refilling.  It sounds so simple, so easy.  It isn’t easy.  But it’s possible.

I think I’ve met one person in my lifetime who was truly empty.  I didn’t ask her what it felt like, but I remember a quiet joy that seemed to permeate her spirit, and she looked free.

We Autumn strugglers must try hard not to wear discouragement as a cloak if we can’t wear enough emptiness to make us free.  It takes a long time to get as far as even wanting to be empty.

Our hearts are hungering for the Sacrament of Letting Go.  Once we discover that we already possess enough grace to let go, trust begins to form in the centre of who we are.  Then we can take off our shoes and stand empty and vulnerable, eager to receive God’s next gift.

And let us pray for one another, for emptying is painful, and the Body of Christ who we are, calls us to support each other in this autumn effort.  The Body of Christ also stands stripped, crucified, waiting for the new life that each of us can bring to it.


she celebrated the sacrament of letting go

first she surrendered her green

then the orange, yellow and red

finally she let go of her brown

shedding her last leaf

she stood empty and silent, stripped bare.

Leaning against the winter sky

she began her vigil of trust.

And Jesus said:

Why do you worry about clothes?  Remember the flowers growing in the fields; they do not fret about what to wear; yet I assure you not even Solomon in all his royal robes was dressed like one of these.

Shedding her last leaf

she watched its journey to the ground.

She stood in silence

wearing the colour of emptiness,

her branches wondering:

How do you give shade with so much gone?

And Jesus said:

Do not be troubled or needlessly concerned.

And then,

the Sacrament of Waiting began.

The sunrise and sunset watched with tenderness.

Clothing her with silhouettes

they kept her hope alive.

They helped her understand that

her vulnerability

her dependence and need

her emptiness

her readiness to receive

were giving her a new kind of beauty.

Every morning and every evening

they stood in silence

and celebrated together

the sacrament of waiting!

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