Cathblog - Let it be, let it be…

Mother Mary, the inspiration for Paul McCarntey’s life and song. Google images.



Wikipedia, that new fount of all knowledge in this digital age, is a great way to check small facts and urban legends and eclectic bits of general knowledge that have evaded you.

Hearing a most beautiful and hymn-like version of Let it Be sung by a school choir recently, I decided to delve into Paul Mc McCartney’s song to find out something of its provenance.

Apparently it came to him in a dream about his own mother, Mary, who died when he was fourteen. Playing it to the other Beatles, he knew it was special. It wasn’t simply a pop song, good as they were, but rather a plaintive paean to the womanly wisdom of his mother who stood with him in his own long hours of darkness.

Another Mary, the mother of Jesus, pronounced her own ‘let it be’ when she gently acquiesced to the knowledge that she would bear the Christ child. She was also there at the foot of the cross in his hour of darkness, the crucifixion.

Let It Be. Almost mantric in their simplicity and instruction these three small words hold the key to an internal recalibration that unfolds as it should, in its own time and fullness, without the provocations of immediacy and result. Away from the template of a tightly timetabled life, letting things be restores a little of the sanity that is so ambushed by the 24/ 7 onslaught of performance and production.

Let It Be. Time to stop scratching at that scab that sits like broken glass at the bottom of your heart; time to let go of the need to be always proved right; time to allow time to do its patient healing work, time to let things take their course without aggravated intervention, time to let go of the grudges and grumblings; time to recognise the truth about yourself and the things you cannot change.

Let It Be, though, is not an excuse to hide or refrain from truth-telling or to dwell in the passive-aggressive limbo of indecision.

It is not about taking things lying down, but discerning if something really needs to be said and done. It is about realising that some things do not really matter as much as we thought they did.

The 14th century anchorite Julian of Norwich had her own saying, All will be well, another almost mantric instruction, with its alchemic collusion with the healing power of time.

Perhaps what we receive from these small sayings are source notes for life’s little instruction book.

In our own hours of darkness when our prayers do not appear to be answered or life has pulled the rug of certainty from under our feet or the days seem bereft of meaning because we are grieving, we need to let it be.

In these whispered words of wisdom there will be an answer.

Let Go. Let God.


Ann Rennie is a Melbourne writer who also teaches senior students in a Catholic girls' school. Her book The Secret Garden of Spirituality (Reflections on Faith, Life and Education), was published in 2011 by Michelle Anderson. Flickr image from cowley_mail.

Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.

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