The Inner Struggle

Awareness of self love

“Deep Peace”, Bill Douglas, from the album of the same name, (1996)

As mentioned in my last post, are not all these special “problems”, my special problems, simply a manifestation of of my own  “Love of self”? Alternatively,  true “Love of others” is a way of accepting all these special “problems” if accepted with humility and meekness, without taking offense and building the castle of self love higher.

The little daily affronts and hurts offer an opportunity for refraining from claiming special victim status, and ceasing to worry about the fairness of life, and feeling sorry for myself. If I can accept each imagined hurt and slight and difficulty not as a personal attack, but as another “splinter of Christ’s cross” I might turn them into an occasion of grace rather than an occasion of sin.

Unfortunately, dawning awareness of my self love often seems to paralyze my trust and love of God. Pride jumps in and with the help and encouragement of my daily demons I repeat with Peter “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Lk 5, 8).

It seems at times that the dawning awareness of sinfulness gives rise to awareness of another layer of sin, always the self turning back into itself and its “specialness”, a sin within a sin within a sin, rather like those nesting dolls the Russians produce, the Matryoshka or Babushka dolls.

This seems especially frequent when going through dark periods of struggle, temptation and difficulty, all of which throw me into agitation and confusion. This state of mind interferes greatly with any outpouring of my heart, any attempt to submerge myself and my worries in God.

So we come to humility … again … and my obvious lack of true humility … I have written about this here, and here.

At the risk of seeming repetitive I re-post a litany of humility because it seems overwhelmingly important on this summer morning.

From Wikipedia, (obviously it must be true of it is on Wikipedia, right?)

As usual, anything, any article, that is outside the progressive secular mainstream comes with a neat disclaimer regarding veracity as in: “This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

But it seems that at least so far, no one has cared enough about humility to make a point of having this article removed from the Wiki. So here it is then”

The following Litany of Humility is a Catholic prayer that the penitent be granted the virtue of humility.

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

This Litany is commonly attributed to Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See under Pope Saint Pius X, but there is little evidence of this.

C.S. Lewis attributed its composition to Cardinal Merry del Val in his March 1948 letter to Don Giovanni Calabria. Father Charles Belmonte, S.Th.D., a priest of the Opus Dei Prelature, who was inspired by the writings of the Cardinal, included it in a collection, the Handbook of Prayers (Studium Theologiae Foundation, Manila, 1986, and in a later edition, by Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, US.) As editor, Belmonte wrote: “attributed to Card. Merry del Val”.

Subsequent copyists, jumping to conclusions, wrote simply: “by Card. Merry del Val”. (remember, attribution of motive reveals more about the attributer of motive than about those to whom he is attributing motives … just saying, this is one of those areas of sins within sins within sins …)

A “Litany to Obtain Holy Humility” was published in 1867 by “A R.C. Clergyman.” A version very similar to the version attributed to Cardinal Merry del Val was published in 1880, copyright 1879 and “translated from the French of the Fifth Edition.”

Clearly, the good Cardinal was simply using a lesser known, but already published prayer. The original author of the Litany of Humility seems to be lost to history, in the obscurity for which he prayed. SO SPEAKS THE ALMIGHTY WIKI!

Or it might be possible that great and holy minds think alike? I have remarked before that: “It seems a hallmark of Truth that it always believes and expects the best of others and acts accordingly. It also seems a hallmark of untruth that it always believes and expects the worst of others and acts accordingly.” My guess is that it all depends on what your starting assumptions are as to how you believe others will act.

Anyway, what is a litany?

A litany is a form of prayer with a repeated responsive petition, used in public liturgical services of the Catholic Church, and in private devotions of Her adherents.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Make my heart like yours.
From self-will, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire to be understood, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire to be visited, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being abandoned, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being refused, deliver me, O Lord.
That others may be loved more than I,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
At being unknown and poor, Lord, I want to rejoice.
At being deprived of the natural perfections of body and mind,Lord, I want to rejoice.
When people do not think of me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they assign to me the meanest tasks, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they do not even deign to make use of me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they never ask my opinion, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they leave me at the lowest place, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they never compliment me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they blame me in season and out of season, Lord, I want to rejoice.
Blessed are those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Attributed by many writers to: Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

Cheers

Joe

approach everything with patience, fraternal charity … and humility.

 

 

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