Going through some of my things, I came across a prayer card I received many years ago. The front of the card had a picture of our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. On the back was this prayer:

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, 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 become holier than I,provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.*

___


Oh, the happy Path of Humility! Some say such an introspection is dangerous; that such a prayer as this can lead to a narcissism; a self-focused prayer. In actuality, it has the effect of leading one to look upon the Crucified One, who “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

For looking at the Cross, we find the lesson of self-emptying is one and the same a lesson of loving going beyond oneself, back to God and extending itself in fullness to the other. Jesus lived what he preached. He spoke of such a love as the path leading to holiness:

One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”

Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

The Gospel of John drives home the inter-connectedness between the love of God and that of neighbor: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 Jn 4:20).

“The unbreakable bond between love of God and love of neighbour is emphasized. One is so closely connected to the other that to say that we love God becomes a lie if we are closed to our neighbour or hate him altogether. Saint John’s words should rather be interpreted to mean that love of neighbour is a path that leads to the encounter with God, and that closing our eyes to our neighbour also blinds us to God.” (P. Benedict XVI – Deus Caritas Est)

The prayer, then becomes one of learning to have our neighbor in our daily equation, and in doing so, find our hearts open also to encounter God.

*The Prayer is credited to Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

___

Related Posts:

Which Way to Holiness

Foundations and Safety Nets

Worship of Christ Crucified

About these ads