A Litany of Humility

Rafael Cardinal Merry de Val

Rafael Cardinal Merry de 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:
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 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 become as holy as I should:
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

This litany was written by Rafael Cardinal Merry de Val (1865-1930), and reportedly prayed daily by him after he celebrated Mass. As a Roman Catholic of his time hee was a man who probably did not have much use for Evangelical Protestants, but Evangelicals could do worse than adopting his prayer. It certainly would challenge me, personally, to seriously pray this and mean it.

And before anyone points out to me that a litany is the sort of thing prohibited by Jesus’ command to not “heap up empty phrases like the heathen” (Mt 6:7), go and have a look at Psalm 136. Of course a litany can be “rattled off”, heaping up empty phrases, just like a Psalm, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here is where I found this, thanks to an e-mail from James Kushiner, publisher of Touchstone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

What is the outer covering of a tree?