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Letting Go

  • is welcoming a painful feeling rather than running away from it through some distraction
  • is an essential step in healing the unconscious wounds of a lifetime
  • is key to the practice of Centering Prayer
  • of thoughts means paying no attention to them
  • of personal likes and dislikes is required in the practice of guarding the heart
  • of esteem, security, and control advances the spiritual journey
  • of spiritual gifts is the key to receiving them 

  • OMOH: 63, 69, 76, 87, 97-98, 125, 130
  • IG: 61, 63, 108, 118-119 
  • MC: 37, 98 
  • AW: 46 

Letting go of spiritual gifts is the best way to receive them. The more detached we are from them, the more we can receive or rather, the better we can receive. It takes a lot of courage to let go of the most delightful things that can be experienced.

Related Concepts




Letting go allows us to consent to God’s presence and to accept the present situation with its psychological content. An effective way of letting go of an emotion is to deliberately feel it. Painful emotions and even physical pain, normally diminish when fully accepted.

Letting go is not a simple practice. It has subtle, important nuances. When a thought is not disturbing, letting go means paying no attention to it at all. When a thought or feeling is disturbing and won’t go away, learn to let go in another way. Out of love for God, sink into it and identify with it, and only then give to God.

Centering Prayer is training on how to let go. With time, patience, and many failures, we develop the habit of letting go of thoughts promptly. Letting go of spiritual gifts is the best way to receive them.

Letting go of esteem, security and control is also required. God leads us into a place that involves a complete reversal of our prepackaged values and a letting go of our preconceived ideas. Hidden from view is not only our whole life’s history, but also the positive elements of our potential for growth through the activation of the Supernatural Organism.

Centering Prayer has the great benefit of providing a framework in which the Night of Sense can take place with fewer traumatic side effects because one is accustomed to the letting go process.

Lent holds a special invitation to repent; that is, to change the direction in which we are looking for happiness by letting go of our false value system and opening to the values of the Gospel. The ultimate letting go was experienced by Christ when He emptied Himself of his divine dignity to enter the human family as one of us.


 Reflection: Listening

Paying attention to God is an important part of letting go.

Reflection: Reflecting

How might you fully pay attention to a painful emotion? What about letting go of a spiritual gift? How does this happen?

Reflection: Responding

Feel the emotion. Let it go. Embrace the gift. Let it go or return it.