Proud To Be Humble

A few years ago, I came across the Litany of Humility and found some of it to be not only contrary to human nature, but just an overall hard thing to say, then do. For those of you who have never heard of the Litany of Humility (by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val y Zulueta), I have reproduced it here:

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, O 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 go 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 may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
Amen

A Step Towards Humility

See what I mean? I find it a difficult prayer, because I know I have sought to draw attention to myself for the motives described above. I know that I have sought on many occasions to elevate my own status above those around me. Most times, I do it even without thinking. When I ponder things such as the Litany of Humility, it makes me ask myself, “Do I love my neighbor as I love myself? Or do I love myself above my love for pretty much everyone else?”

Humility literally starts from the ground, up. What do I mean by that? I mean that we must begin by examining all of our actions, then examine our motives for those actions, to seek out and remove any vestiges of pride that we find. Can I think of times when I have sought attention, esteem, love, honor, glory, or been envious of another’s success? What about those times when I have avoided humiliation, ridicule, rebuke, or correction?

Grow In Humility By Decreasing

Someone once told me that “Yes, it’s bad to toot your own horn. But someone who never toots their own means their battery is dead.” Or it means that the person is so humble, that they don’t feel a need to toot their own horn. While we are not called to “market” ourselves in such a way that we raise our own importance, we are called to proclaim the Good News, the Gospel, to others. By doing what St. John the Baptist did, which is to decrease as Jesus increases, we grow in humility while pointing out Jesus, the Way, to others. By doing what the Blessed Mother did at Cana, and direct others to Jesus to “Do whatever he tells you,” (John 2:5), we grow in humility. Blessed Mother didn’t take credit for saving the wedding at Cana, nor did Jesus. They just “loved” the newly wedded couple, and those attending.

And so, as we move out into our daily lives, let us reflect on the Litany of Humility, shining the light on those things we think, say, or do, that are contrary to this virtue, and then trying to live humble lives. By being humble, we avoid sin and gain Heaven. We become those little children that Jesus told the Apostles were the true citizens of Heaven. Cf. Matt. 19:14.


Victor Negrón is a husband, father, grandfather, practicing lawyer, former judge, past-President of the San Antonio Catholic Lawyers Guild, lay evangelist, Board Member of Pilgrim Center of Hope and A Woman’s Haven. Judge Negrón became Board Certified in Family Law in 1987. As a lay evangelist, Victor has served as a leader for Eucharistic Adoration of San Antonio, Inc., and has been involved with Pilgrim Center of Hope’s evangelizing activities since its early years – formerly as emcee for the Catholic Men’s Conference, and currently as a member of the PCH Board of Directors.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

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