"For many years, at the Ash Wednesday service at Georgetown University, one of the rituals, in addition to the imposition of ashes and the celebration of communion, was the letting go of burdens. Students, staff, and faculty were each asked to write on a 3 X 5 note card a heavy and life-denying burden they wished to give up during the Lenten season. Often their burdens were deep and paralyzing issues such as guilt, alienation, low self-esteem, abuse, and depression. As they came to receive the ashes and communion, they were invited to place their burden in a basket and to imagine that in so doing they were placing that burden in the hands of God. Many of the participants experienced a sense of peace as they laid down their burdens, for they discovered in that prayerful moment that God would be their partner in bearing these painful and life-denying burdens."

To Practice: Write on a piece of paper a description of a burden you want to give up. Then tear it up as a way of indicating your willingness to let go and let God.

Bruce G. Epperly in God's Touch