Humility

Many years ago, I came across a prayer for humility. It was actually a litany. As I read it, I stopped almost immediately and had to make sure God knew that I was just reading it and not praying it. It was a heart stopper for me, something that I didn’t feel I could say from the heart. “Who could ever pray this prayer?” I thought to myself. Why would anyone desire to be despised, suspected, forgotten, or humiliated? Why would anyone ask that others be more loved, chosen, praised or preferred? Why would someone pray to go unnoticed, or set aside? Those are terrible things. Or are they?

A few weeks ago, I came upon this prayer once again. I decided to READ it. (notice, not pray it) I almost had to laugh, because all those things that I had feared in the past have happened to me so many times I couldn’t even count them. And I’m still here. I didn’t faint away or die from it. I didn’t run away and become a recluse because of being wronged or ridiculed. Of course, there was a lot of pain associated with making many mistakes, being humiliated in front of a lot of people, and not getting credit for something I worked hard to complete. I have been forgotten and looked over many times. There were even times I truly felt like I was invisible.

Over the years, these experiences have strengthened me. I don’t know if it’s an increase in the virtue, but I am becoming more detached from myself. It’s a rather odd feeling but I’ve learned to not take myself so seriously, to be able to move on past my mistakes and not to dwell on them or mull over every detail of my errors. That is so freeing! 

The fear of praying this litany has greatly diminished and the repugnance of it has changed to something almost sweet. I still wince at parts of it but I know that God is working in my life to mold me into the person He wants me to be. He’s chipping away at my pride and that’s a very good thing. For those of you who are my friends, you know, as I do, that I have a long way to go. And my family and spiritual brothers and sisters have played a most important part in my spiritual journey. For they were the ones who encouraged me, listened to me, and counseled me whenever the virtue of humility was being tested. I am grateful for their willingness to love me and be patient with me as I continue to be pruned. 

In case you have a burning desire to see the litany that I have been writing about, I have included it. Try praying it. (ok, you can read it first.) I promise good fruit will come from it.


(accustomed to be said after celebration of Mass, 
by Merry Cardinal del Val, secretary of state to
Pope Saint Pius X) 


O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, 
Hear me. 
From the desire of being esteemed, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the desire of being loved, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the desire of being extolled, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the desire of being honored, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the desire of being praised, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the desire of being preferred to others, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the desire of being consulted, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the desire of being approved, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the fear of being humiliated, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the fear of being despised, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the fear of suffering rebukes, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the fear of being calumniated, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the fear of being forgotten, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the fear of being ridiculed, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the fear of being wronged, 
Deliver me, O Jesus. 
From the fear of being suspected, 
Deliver me, O 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 go 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 may become as holy as I should, 
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.