Litany for Release

We have come through a tumultuous time here in the U.S. - one tumultuous time that has launched us straight into another. I have personally felt that I need to clear some inner space if I am going to interact with gratitude and the season of Advent. So, on this, the weekend before Thanksgiving I invite you to find a quiet space to pray this prayer with me.

I recommend praying this litany aloud, while doing a lot of breathing. In fact, I recommend a big ol’ breath in between each line. Some nice music would be good too.

We humans have a tendency to hold onto things. Help me to loosen up and let go.

I release my fear to you, God.
I release my pain to you, God.
I release my uncertainty to you, God.
I release my shame to you, God.
I release my busyness and hurry to you, God.
I release my worry to you, God.
I release my defensiveness to you, God.

I release to you any feeling that I need to fake something, or put on a show.
I release to you any sense that I am unworthy, or unloved by you.
I release to you any interactions I’ve had with people that have hurt or shocked me.
I release to you any grudges or unforgiveness I’m holding.
I release to you any urge for vengeance or need to prove a point.

I release myself from inappropriate expectations put on me by other people.
I release myself from insisting on perfection.
I release myself from micromanaging situations, or taking too much responsibility.
I release myself from saying Yes when I should be saying No.
I release myself from saying No when I should be saying Yes.

I accept the peace you offer me in your presence.
I accept the rest you offer me in bearing my burdens.
I accept the freedom you offer me
  To not judge
  To not consume
  To not categorize or label
  To not fill silence with noise.
I accept the spaciousness that comes from giving up things that don’t serve me or others.


Litany for Presence

I mentioned a couple of litanies ago that I think Contemplative faith has a lot to offer us in terms of ways to order ourselves so that we remain hopeful. Since about 2012, I have been delving progressively more deeply into contemplative faith, and discovering that the mystics have found an entirely other way to be faithful, one not often found in conventional church teaching today. We who are stuck in our ruts of dualistic thinking, of us and them, of right and left, of either/or, just don’t have the framework for contemplation; and to me this seems more evident than ever.

Richard Rohr says that “Contemplatives refuse to create false dichotomies, dividing the field for the sake of the quick comfort of their ego. They do not rush to polarity thinking to take away their mental anxiety… Contemplation refuses to be reductionistic. Contemplation is an exercise in keeping your heart and mind spaces open long enough for the mind to see other hidden material” (1).

I just think if there were ever a time that our culture could use a healthy dose of non-dualistic, contemplative thinking, it’s this election cycle. I see myself and so many of us expending so much energy on judgement and control that we have no silence left. We are busy categorizing, so we have lost the thread of the narrative, the bigger picture of the Presence of God here and now, within and among us, redeeming and working through everything.

If you’d like to dip a toe into contemplation, here is a prayer to get you started.

(ALL:) You are here.
We quiet ourselves now, that we may know more deeply
You are here.
We don’t have to ask for your presence.
You are here.
We don’t have to earn your presence.
You are here.

Help us to find the quiet spaces within ourselves.
You are here.
Help us to see more widely and farther.
You are here.
Help us to become more aligned with your nature.
You are here.

With compassion
You are here.
With benevolence
You are here.
With peace
You are here.
With love
You are here.

We breathe in.
You are here.
We breathe out.
You are here.


(1) Rohr, Richard. _The Naked Now_ pg 34