Wednesday Prayers: Losing It

I've been wrongly attributing the following to St. Paul, it's actually a gentleman by the name of Jim Elliot: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." I've also been thinking it was "gives up," rather than "gives." But the third chapter of Ecclesiastes comes through for me; it confirms that indeed there is a time to seek, and a time to lose.

I'm choosing to lose right now, to give up. As it's Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, I suspect many of us are giving up. Sometimes losing, or giving up, feels like deprivation, but for me it feels like hope. Hard hope. Hope that God is already holding that which I'm letting go.

A woman wrote to the Washington Post's fashion chat last week because she's been carrying a heavy purse on the same shoulder for many years, and now one shoulder is higher than the other. I believe this has happened to me spiritually-- I've been carrying something too heavy for many years, and in order to restore my shape, I have to put it down.

It's a private thing, a family thing, but if you could hold me in your prayers, I'd be grateful.

Do you need me to pray for you to lose it, too?


  1. You know I do. I, of course, will be praying for you. I will make you a deal. I will meet you back here in 40 days with the expectation that we really gave it to God but also did what He would want us to do and see how we have done.

    At mass this morning (the good Baptist says :)) the priest spoke about hope. It really is the season of hope, isn't it? He said so many people come and get their ashes and then leave before communion (different meaning to different parts of Christianity but still shared understanding). How sad. They leave before the part that gives us hope.

    It might take me 39 days to get the fully giving it up part and doing what I need to do, but God above all things knows I need to do it.

  2. Praying with you for the freedom you seek, and--if it would feel right to you--will offer the Eucharist for that intention this week.

    I would appreciate prayers for a shift in my relationship with my son, especially out of the cycle of arguments that we can get sucked into. (Jean Kerr once said that the problem in dealing with a five year old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five year old, and the same goes for thirteen!)

  3. Sophia, it would be wonderful for you to offer the Eucharist with this intention, thank you.

    And most certainly you, your son, and your family will be in my prayers. Blessings on all of you as you learn to navigate the teens.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins