Friday, April 15, 2011

Litany of Humility


I first read the Litany of Humility during a Women of Grace study at my former church.  It felt profound at the time and almost a little dangerous in a "be careful what you *pray* for - it just might come true" kind of way.  Lately, Lent has brought these thoughts back around to me and I wanted to share them here with you.  What would the world be like if we all prayed for humility rather than individual exceptionalism?  If we continuously wished better for those around us rather than ourselves?  

For those new to a litany, the word comes from an ancient Greek word meaning supplication.  It is a form of prayer in which the participants are requesting something of God - in this case humility.  It is read by a leader and the respondents repeat the same response, in this case, Deliver me Jesus, and later,  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.  

For the remaining days of Lent and through Holy Week I plan to recite this everyday.  I invite you to join me.


Litany of Humility
Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)

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…




Here is a beautiful version of this litany put to music by Danielle Rose



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4 comments:

  1. This is really very powerful....Thank you Misty.

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  2. I just prayed this litany. It's wonderful!

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  3. My two older boys just prayed this with me and they had so many moments of hesitation - I'm not sure I really want others to be preferred over me - etc... I had to laugh and hug them because that is the hardest part of being human!

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~Grace and peace to you~

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