Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Most Difficult Prayer

Several years ago I began saying a prayer during daily mass called “The Litany of Humility” composed by Merry Cardinal del Val, secretary of state to Pope Saint Pius X. It was at a time when I was experiencing career changes, with responsibilities that seemed narrower in scope.

I began praying it out of a hope it would help in dealing with the changes more positively. After awhile, however, it seemed to be causing me greater anxiety as the prayer’s petitions were being realized, i.e. being excluded, overlooked, etc. This was disconcerting when success is clearly defined as being sought out and consulted more frequently. As a result, I stopped saying the prayer for some time since it seemed to make my attitude more negative.

So what was the lesson?

It’s becoming a familiar one in these posts – I was trying to outthink God and make judgments based on how the world judges, not how God judges.

After a time, I went back to the prayer and it became clear to me that it was really about a release from the desire for being preferred and approved. And that was exactly what had happened. As my yearning for these things decreased in answer to the prayer, I grew in using other talents with a greater intention of helping others and more focus on daily spiritual life. Realize that none of this was me; this was God answering the prayer.

I now pray the litany much more frequently with a sense of wonder and a realization that I have no clue what will come of it, other than that through surrendering and getting out of God’s way, his will can become more manifest.

Click on this link for the prayer, but realize that you may be in for a challenging time.



1 comment:

Hollywood Four said...

While I am probably not as well "aligned" with my spirituality as you are Mike, I have a special prayer I can share as well. My grandmother (who raised me from 3 to 12) gave me this little newspaper clipping to me when I was around 16. I am not sure who wrote this prayer or where it came from. However, going through some difficult times in college, I was drawn to it. I actually lost the piece of paper but committed the prayer to memory. This prayer helped me through some trying times in my life and I still try to pray it daily (though I often forget). It goes as follows:

Thank you God for the kindness you have given me along the way. I am grateful for the patience you have shown me day by day. Thank you for the countless favors that help me to struggle on. New found faith when my faith falters. Hope when hope is all but gone. Thank you for the many blessings. Like my loving family; feet to walk with; arms to work with; eyes that let this mortal see. For the many blessing you give me I owe you a pricess debt. My heart cries when I offend you. Tresspasses I cannot forget. Thank you Jesus. Guide me onward. Make me follow your advice. So that I may gain your favor, and meet you in paradise. - Amen.