Desire humility

Readings for September 1, 2019

Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Psalm 68
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24
Luke 14:1, 7-14

www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

The message in this week’s readings is clear: Be humble. But as I reflect on this message, it occurs to me that writing a reflection on humility is fraught with danger. The more I reflect on my own humility, the less humility I see. 

I would like to say this though. Humility is not about shunning praise when genuinely given, but being thankful. It is not about self-deprecation, but lifting up another. It is not about seeking honor, but cultivating a desire to be humble. And furthermore, I know that if I can’t humble myself, God will do it for me. 

That said, the Litany of Humility prayer expresses and instructs on these thoughts much better than I do:

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me.

That others may love more than I, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, grant me the grace to desire it.

I ask this in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
-Luke 14:11

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