February 4, 2015

The prayer you HAVE to know



I think I was on a subconscious social media fast or something....eeek-o. In a "it's-good-to-forget-about-the-computer" sorta way. But I'm back.


I also have all these re-dunculously cute Super Bowl pictures to post (mostly of Lola at halftime because she was rockin' out to Katy Perry. She must've recognized all the songs from running marathons in the womb or something) but I'm still a bit sniffly from the loss so those are getting shelved. Hashtag still love my Hawks.


OK OK, maybe I'll show just one.








Anyway, I wanted to share my most favorite prayer in the world. I can't explain how much this prayer is life-changing. I discovered it in college and it was part of  my morning prayer for a couple years but, like everything over time, it kind of faded out of my existence and, actually, well, I kind of stopped praying in the morning all together. Eeek. No wonder my spiritual director (a priest I see for counsel and advice on life) kept asking me how my prayer life was after I would complain about all the crap I couldn't get over. PRAYER PRAYER PRAYER. It works. It's needed. It's my lifeline to the One who gave me life! I guess I thought cruise control worked and that I could withdraw from my "holiness account" instead of keeping on making the deposits. But a holiness account doesn't really exist and I realized that if I want to make any progress in my spiritual life I needed to remain attached to the One who provides the Grace for that to happen.


I rediscovered my journey to morning prayer just a few short months ago. I needed something easy to do at 6am. I needed something that would feel effective (at least initially. Feelings go away after awhile). I needed something I was excited about and looking forward to and something that addressed everything I was struggling with. Insert my *favorite prayer* along with a few other pieces of gold.


While thinking about what I wanted to do for my morning prayer it struck me that what I am clamoring after the most is Wisdom - holy Wisdom to make good decisions, to be a good mom and wife, to know the direction God wants from me at every single twist and turn. God does not guarantee us comfort or a straight path but He *does* guarantee Wisdom. Dude, just look at King Solomon. He could've asked for anything he wanted but alas he asks for Wisdom:



“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguishbetween right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have notasked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."
1 King 3:7-14



And the Lord was pleased. And the Lord said yes. Pass that shuga along to moi.


So I started with the book of Proverbs. Holy moly (pardon the pun) but man that book is full o' Wisdom. It kind of slaps you in the face with it. I would open my Bible and read a few lines every morning and then just let them sink into my heart. And I still do. A couple months later and I'm only halfway through but that's OK because I would rather read 10 words and have it change me than 100 words just to do my duty.


After reading from Proverbs I would state my intentions for the day (throwing in there the grace to be patient and kind because I SUCK at that) and then finish up with an Our Father (that covers all the bases, man), a Hail Mary (asking my Mother to have my back), and a Glory Be (thanking God that I'm alive another day). But then one day, out of my Bible fell a print out of that prayer. You know, the one I mentioned above.


And it struck me like a lightening bolt (or perhaps that was the coffee) that THIS, this is the prayer I need to be saying every morning. The prayer that will combat my vanity, pride, selfishness, anxiety, and everything in between.


The Litany of Humility.


A litany is simply something you say over and over. The repetition provides a way to enter deeper into the prayer. This prayer has a way of calming the soul and reminding us (ME) what is important: to forget oneself. To seek out opportunities to forget oneself. To always desire the comfort, peace, glory of others above oneself. It is a prayer of freedom. And it has worked to loosen the bonds of everything I struggle with.


So, without further adieu I give you the Litany of Humility. I keep a small print out of it in front of my Bible and whip that baby out the second after I down a cup of coffee. (Sorry Lord, if you want me to show up at all coffee comes first...)


(Note: after every ... you say the above words in bold)


The Litany of Humility
composed by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Va

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…



And there you have it. I encourage you to try it out. If not for your sake then for mine because I could've slept in instead of write this. (holy guilt holy guilt in yo face)


Now I'm off to conquer this Wednesday with God at my front, Mary at my back, and Wisdom as my guide. And I guess with that combo it's gonna be a great day.


























10 comments:

Jenna@CallHerHappy said...

love finding a new prayer!

My favorite night prayer that calms my mind is:

Visit this house, we beg you, Lord, and banish from it the deadly power of the evil one. May your holy angels dwell here to keep us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Gaunts said...

The Litany of Humility is my daily prayer. I pray it every morning. Pride is such a barrier for my relationship with God, I love this prayer. Glad you shared it!

* Chrissy * said...

I'll try it. It's nice to hear how others are connecting spiritually. I wish my church had a little group that would discuss how to strengthen the faith while kids played. I'd be there all. the. time.

Alicia said...

This is great!! Thank you so much for sharing! My prayer life has been severely lacking... I needed this.

I used to pray a rosary every day and I still really want to but the morning is NOT the time. Honestly it would put me back to sleep. I'm too weak at that time. Haha.

I've been wanting to start the day with prayer but needed something quicker but still structured (not just me improvising) and inspiring that would focus my day.
I'm going to print up a copy for myself to use.

The litany of humility is what I need right now. I struggle with the same things you described.

I think I'll follow it with the Prayer of St Francis (the "Lord make me an instrument of your peace...")

Kristine Mauss said...

Jenna, that is a beautiful prayer thanks for sharing!

Kristine Mauss said...

Chrissy, you're right - it's hard to find faith groups geared towards moms. But we are all here to support and build each other up in the Body of Christ!

Kristine Mauss said...

Alicia, you're welcome :) I too want to pray the Rosary and it can get tough but I bought the Fr. Groschel Rosary CD and play it in the car with the kids. Or even if I can get a decade in on my own I consider it a win!

Jessica Z said...

Oh my gosh, when I started reading this post, my first thought was, "oh no oh no I hope its not the Litany of Humility." Let me explain....I first saw this Litany a few weeks ago on this awesome FB group I'm a part of (Real Catholic Women...you should consider joining--very uplifting group), and when I read it, I thought, "oh my gosh, I'd be afraid to pray for those things...what if they ACTUALLY happen?!?!" Of course I know this would be a good thing, and I thought, "hmmmm, maybe THIS is what I'm supposed to do for Lent." But I hadn't quite committed yet. And then when I got the e-mail of your post this morning, I thought, if she suggests the Litany of Humility I'm going to have to take it as a sign that Jesus really wants me to pray this prayer. So, anyway, thank you for sharing and giving me the last nudge I needed, I'll be printing this out and using it especially for Lent. I'm still a little nervous, but I know that I can't go wrong if I trust the Holy Spirit, right? :) I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I love it...I actually found it while training for my first half-marathon (completed Jan. 18, woo-hoo!) and can totally relate. Thanks again!!

Kathleen said...

Me too!! Awesome idea.

Kristine Mauss said...

Jessica, WOW!!! It's amazing how the Holy Spirit works isn't it? It looks like this prayer was meant for you, too, and please share how God works in your life because of it!