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Praying the Litany of Humility

Updated on July 14, 2013

The Litany of Humility, composed by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), is one of my most favorite prayers, and one which I try to pray everyday (although fail miserably at). Nevertheless, to achieve what this prayer asks for is one of the deepest desires of my heart. The prayer begins:

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Hear me! Here we are praying to the one who embodies the virtues that we desire most by praying this prayer--not only humility but meekness (a beautiful but often overlooked virtue). Meekness is the combination of the virtues patience (bearing burdens joyfully) and gentility (right mediation of anger) and is equivalent to mercy. By praying this litany we are not only asking for humility, but also the patience to bear, and the gentility to deal with those who/that which make us humble.

The next three sections deal with the three aspects of humility--overcoming the desire to be loved, overcoming the fear of being rejected, and desiring the good of others in all things.

Desire

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me Jesus!

(Lord, help me not to seek fame or esteem, but to accept it when it comes, and let it glorify you. Let my goal in life not be the approval of friends and strangers nor the uplifting of myself for my own glory, but rather to seek to do your will and please only you).

From the desire of being loved...

(Lord, help me not to seek love in unhealthy or unneeded ways. Help me be complete satisfied with your love. Help me to love purely in all things. Please keep me from using others to make myself feel better, from leading others on, or from sexually unfulfilling practices. Help me to move on and forgive when my love is rejected.)

From the desire of being extolled...
From the desire of being honored...
From the desire of being praised...

Lord, help me do all things for the love of you alone. Help me to give all praise and honor to you and keep nothing for myself. Help me to lead hearts to you, and not to myself.

From the desire of preferred...
From the desire of being consulted...
From the desire of being approved...

(Lord, help me to use my gifts for only those things you deem holy. Help me not to seek approval or to flaunt gifts you have given me. Help me to accept it when my friends go to other people for advice. May I be accepting when I am not the most important person in the room, and may I wish that others don't need my help)

Fear


From the fear of being humiliated…

(Lord, banish all fear from my heart. Help me to not be afraid of anything you have planned for me. Help me not to fear my cross or the purifying fires of your love. Help me live with reckless abandon, running towards the unknown things you have planned for me. May fear of embarrassment or failure not hold me back from the challenges you have in store for me)


From the fear of being despised...

(Lord, help me to care only about what you think. Let me not fear the the despisement of others, which is often based on fear and misunderstanding itself. Let not fear of hate, rejection, or cruel words keep from sharing your word and from being a living of example of your grace)

From the fear of being rebuked...

(Lord, help me accept humbly the consequences for what I have done wrong. Help me Lord to even accept responsibility for that which I did not do wrong, in order to atone for that which I have gotten away with. Let me live with integrity, responsibility, and accountability. Let me be merciful to those who have wronged me, in remembrance of those I have previously wronged)

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...

Lord help me to live only with joy, without fear in my heart. Help me to accept all things that lead me closer to your heart.

Others

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 I become as holy as I should...

(Lord, help me desire that which is most difficult for me, the good of others over myself. Grant me the ability to accept the greatness of others. Lord, let me be satisfied for the life you have for me. Lord, help me to desire others be more important than I, more consulted than I, and more loved than I. Most of all, in my road to holiness, help me to make others more holy, even if that means they become holier than I.)

© 2010 rdlang05

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    • rdlang05 profile image
      Author

      rdlang05 7 years ago from Minnesota

      Haha, You are great,

      Thank you. How eloquently simple "Do and be Good". If only more people would realize how foundational this is to Christ's message!

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago from USA

      I must say this is a beautiful prayer, and you explained it very well. I keep trying to tell the atheists in the forums that the purpose-one of the purposes- of Christians is to do and be Good.

      Thanks for reminding me of this prayer. Bookmarked and useful,etc.