I was reading another blog this week, and the writer shared this Litany of Humility. God has been working with me on some of the very ideas mentioned in the litany for a very long time, but the way this prayer is worded feels more blunt than I have heard in a long time. I felt as if I had been hit with a 2' x 4'... a much needed one I might add.
The Litany of Humility by - Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val
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,
deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated (slandered or gossiped about),
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.
This is something I need to read everyday as I struggle with all of these thoughts...desires to be liked, to be approved of, to be loved and chosen. It is much more easy to desire these things for those whom I respect greatly, men and women of God. But what about people I deal with who don't always act with integrity or who have even treated me or others poorly or sought their own glory? Do I desire for them to be chosen over me? Don't I want Christ in my life to shine in a way that makes Him more desirable to those who don't have a relationship with Him?
But that's just it! Humility can't be feigned. You can't be humble and wish for others to not receive glory. You can't be humble and wish that others will notice your humility. You can't be humble and hope that you will be noticed at all! These are all contradictory. And while it would be easy to think this can be mastered, how do you know when you've achieved a state of humility?
There is so much truth in this litany that I can't even write all of my thoughts. I could literally write about every line and how I struggle with that very thing.
My summary: Only by God's grace can we be delivered from our selfish ambitions, and that struggle for me is a daily battle. Lord, have mercy on me! Jesus, deliver me!