FIYH 92-93: Letting Go

In a short section titled, “letting Go,” the bishops advise spiritually:

[92] Sometime in the middle of the preparation process we should allow our­selves to step back from the work we are doing and give free reign to the subconscious processes of our minds. At times we will find that our preparation has brought us to a roadblock. A passage may make no sense to us. It may even scandalize us. We may want to ignore it, but it will not go away. The more we wrestle with it, the more troublesome it becomes. The words of Jesus about love for enemies fly in the face of our natural inclination for retribution;  his words about selling possessions and giving them to the poor contradict our instinctive sense of the necessity for prudent stewardship. Paul’s teaching that sin and death entered the world through one man seems to contradict everything we hold about individual, personal freedom and responsibility. We sense a real tension between the Word of God and the human situation.


[93] When this happens we have one of the best signs that we are on to something vital. The Word of God may in fact be challenging our faith, calling us to conversion, to a new vision of the world. This period can be a difficult one, for we can feel that we are being asked to give up a way of looking at and dealing with the world which has served us well and with which we have grown comfortable. At a time like this we need to let go in order to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us and lead us to a deeper and richer faith.


What strikes me about this preparation advice is how well it suits any creative endeavor. I see much applicable to musicianship as well as composing and writing. The unstated part of “letting go” is the actual letting go of our own ideas that just don’t seem to work. How many preachers have something their intellect has determined they “should” preach, but they feel instead steered to something wholly different?

(All texts from Fulfilled in Your Hearing are copyright © 1982 USCCB. All rights reserved. Used with permission.)

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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