Litany of Humility

I was meeting with a friend today and we were talking about times we were volunteering to do something but became offended that nobody seemed grateful.  I began to think about a little writing I ran across a few years ago that challenged me to "re-think" my attitudes.  It seems that I need to "re-think" once again.

This prayer was written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930) Secretary of State of Pope Saint Pious X; however, many once thought that it was written by Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  It is generally intended to be used in private devotion and that is where I have developed my appreciation for its honesty.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver, me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated 1, Deliver, me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,
     Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should,
     Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

1. Calumniated is to have false statements uttered about one or to endanger the reputation of another by intent.

Initially, I took this little prayer and worked through it line by line.  It was a great help to me as I continued to work in ministry and to work with hurting people.  It seemed that I was forever offended and forever having my world crushed by what I thought was the inconsideration of others.  The fact was that I had a lesson to learn.  I began to learn that I could offer to Jesus a very different sacrifice.  I could offer Him the things to which every human has a basic right.  In yielding this to Him, I began to experience some freedom from anger for the first time in my life.

I'm not saying that anger is wrong.  I am also not saying that I never experience periods of anger and touchiness.  What I am saying is that my need have my rights recognized and heeded by others, seemed to open the door of offense again and again.  So, today I was thinking about it again and do offer you this as a post.

 

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13 thoughts on “Litany of Humility

  1. Thanks for sharing this! This is something that I personally struggle with. I did, finally, make a step in the right direction last night. When I became offended at the ungratefulness (perceived or real) of those around me, I retreated to a quiet time of prayer–a first for me! Usually, I sulk.

  2. I once heard someone pray or maybe it was a quote from a prayer…something like, "Lord shower me with insults so that I might be free from the flattery of man." Wonder how that prayer was answered?
    I like this post. Thanks for sharing it. It keeps coming to mind that Kathy Koch offered a writing to us that she did on Humility. I think I'll dig out the email she provided and request it. I'm sure it's a good read. If I get it in my hands I'll share.

  3. Hello, R.G.I know what you mean about the "devotion of those who have gone before." I just read a bit about Henrietta Mears whose crazy, radical obedience to God contributed to God's kingdom the likes of Bill Bright, Billy Graham and Richard C. Halverson, former chaplain of the U.S. Senate. One of her radical statements was: " I will make it easy for anyone to come to me with the deepest experiences in his inner life – not by urging, but by sympathy and understanding. I will never let anyone think I am disappointed in him." Oh, I wonder if I can be full of THIS kind of grace?

  4. Mz. Butterworth, let me know if you get the Kathy Koch thing. I often wonder why I am so affected by stuff people say or do around me…and now I am wondering why I can't keep in practice more of the lessons of humility I have learned.

  5. Peeking into Vox again after a month or two away, and this is one of the first things I read. Perfection. Stunning in beauty and in the sting it delivers and in the desire it arouses for its pursuit.Wow.

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