Humility

I have been hearing a lot lately about Cardinal Sarah’s book called The Power of Silence.  Often, God speaks to me this way–I will see the same message repeated multiple places–books, bumper stickers, blogs, conversations, etc…  Anyway, I got the message that I need to read this book.  I saw and bought it last weekend, but I haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet.  It is in my ever-growing stack waiting for me.  I did leaf through it before purchasing it and I saw in the introduction a famous prayer composed by Cardinal Merry del Val which I used to pray a long time ago and forgot about.  It speaks to me about areas I need to grow in, and maybe it will be a good reminder to you, too.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Make my heart like yours.

From self-will, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being esteemed,…
From the desire of being loved,…
From the desire of being extolled,…
From the desire of being honored,…
From the desire of being praised,…
From the desire of being preferred to others,…
From the desire of being consulted,…
From the desire of being approved,…
From the desire to be understood,…
From the desire to be visited,…
From the fear of being humiliated,…
From the fear of being despised,…
From the fear of suffering rebukes,…
From the fear of being calumniated,…
From the fear of being forgotten,…
From the fear of being ridiculed,…
From the fear of being suspected,…
From the fear of being wronged,…
From the fear of being abandoned,…
From the fear of being refused,…

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

At being unknown and poor, Lord, I want to rejoice.
At being deprived of the natural perfections of body and mind,…
When people do not think of me,…
When they assign to me the meanest tasks,…
When they do not even deign to make use of me,…
When they never ask my opinion,…
When they leave me at the lowest place,…
When they never compliment me,…
When they blame me in season and out of season,…

Blessed are those who suffer persecution for justice’s sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It occurs to me as I type this that the only way a person could actually mean this prayer is by actually believing in God, loving him above all else, including his own self, and seeking only to please God. If you only were trying to please God and did not put yourself above God, you would not need to be admired by others or be afraid of being rejected by others because God approving of you and loving you is all you would need. You would then be free to do what God wants you to do, which is to be who he made you to be. This world’s wisdom teaches us that in order to be happy, we have to look out for number one, step on whoever is in the way to get to the top, be independent and self-determined. Here is another of the great Christian paradoxes–by putting yourself last and God first, you find the joy of love, freedom, authenticity, and purpose.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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