Litany of Humility

Litanies are a very ancient form of prayer in Christianity with much to recommend them – here is some background and and here is an index of some well-known litanies.

The Litany of Humility is one of my favorites. Read it slowly, let it roll around your soul, try it on for size. There is a real comfort in the rhythmic repetition, relentlessly shaping, forming, emerging … better today than yesterday.

It is a great private devotion … so here goes:

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me 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 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.

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865 – 1930),
Secretary of State for Pope St. Pius X

Now this is counter-cultural … what a perfect antidote to our own vanities.
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Litany of Humility

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