One of the most challenging prayers (for me at least) is The Litany of Humility. Humility that is both psychologically and spiritually healthy is a delicate balance to find. There is a danger of embracing masochism rather than godly humility. Another danger is false humility where one actually takes pride in one’s humble ways. The goal is complete trust in God rather than in our own psychological defenses. Trust in God allows us to resist the need for acceptance or approval of others, to resist the need to constantly avoid being hurt by others and to seek the good of others in all things, even at our own expense. The goal is not self-defilement but a self fullfilment only achievable by placing confidence in God.
My intention for the next several blog entries is to walk through the Litany of Humility and comment on each part of the litany as it pertains to real life applications in my own spiritual journey and daily living. I may combine some parts into one blog post. We’ll see how it develops.
Already I am reflecting on my own desire to do this series, as my motivation could be a bid for the approval of others rather than a humble spiritual exercise. Since we are called by God to do our best with our gifts and talents, I suppose it all depends on my attitude. As long as I do this for the edification of others while using my writing talents, maybe there is hope for me. I know that I very much need this prayer.
Below is the Litany of Humility, and here is a wonderful song by Daniele Rose to accompany it:
Litany of Humility
RafaelCardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me. From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.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 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 wronged … From the fear of being suspected …
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, 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 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…
(More info on the psychological aspects of the prayer can be found here.