When I have a dilemma caused by a sense of discomfort about myself due to something I’ve read or some thought that has struck me, it will most likely end up in a letter to You. Such is the case here as I ponder the lesson You gave of giving “all.” You abandoned everything, even those around You whom You loved, for the love of “all.” I am further intimidated by the examples of some of the victims of the holocaust who gave till death everything they had for the comfort of others. To pray sincerely and with joy, “Take, Lord, and receive all that I hold dear,” is a prayer that frightens me because of what it reveals about me. The saints and, particularly, the martyrs were not reticent. They did not hold back from You. But I do.
Spiritual courage is not talked about that much, but it is an indispensable part of “letting go,” which has to do with our attachments. We live a life of habitually growing more and more dependent on people and things. The longer we live, it seems, the more attached we become. To honestly say, “Take and receive all that I hold dear,” takes more courage than I have right now, but I want to be able to say it. I believe that as long as I remain open to Your love You will gradually move me to the right disposition in this regard. As often happens, my concerted efforts place too much emphasis on my own abilities to effect change. This hinders the action of Your grace in me.