Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The First Joyful Mystery

The Annunciation


Oh my Jesus, I offer you this first mystery in honor your Incarnation in Mary's womb, and I ask of Thee through this mystery and through the intercession of Thy most holy mother, a profound humility.
St. Louis de Monfort

Several years ago, I went to a retreat on the Desert Fathers. The retreat master was speaking on the seven deadly sins, and he said that pride was the most deceptive sin because when you think that you have defeated it on one front, it jumps up and hits you from the back. When I spoke about St. Louis's rosary prayers the other day, I mentioned that some of them asked for things that are scary. It may or may not seem scary to you to ask for humility, but when you start to think seriously about what you are asking for, it can be downright terrifying. I think the best illustration of this is Servant of God Cardinal Merry del Val's Litany of Humility. I'm sure that some of you are familiar with it, but for those who aren't.

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, 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 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 become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

This prayer has always contained a lot that is difficult for me, but I never realized the full import of it until I left my little, cozy homeschool circle, and went to work in the world. I hadn't remembered how the desire to be chosen, and praised, and consulted is such an every day concern in almost every workplace. I never thought I would have to fight the desire for all those things so hard myself.

I was also thinking that this is a great prayer to pray for our Cardinals as they choose our new Holy Father, and when I went looking for some information about Cardinal Merry del Val, I found that he is the perfect person to intercede for the cardinals.

From Wikipedia (I know, I know.)
According to Rafael Merry del Val, during the Conclave of 1903, in which he served in the role of Secretary of the Conclave, Cardinal Jan Puzyna de Kosielsko came to see him, demanding to announce his veto against Cardinal Rampolla in the name of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. Archbishop Merry Del Val protested and refused to even accept the document, which, in the heat of the debate fell on the floor and was picked back up by Cardinal Puzyna.
There is a lot more interesting information to be gleaned from the article, including that fact that his full name was Rafael María José Pedro Francisco Borja Domingo Gerardo de la Santíssima Trinidad Merry del Val y Zulueta.

AMDG

6 comments:

  1. I started praying Merry del Val's Litany of Humility about 15 years ago. It's surprising how much of it becomes relevant and how quickly, and how relevant it stays. I think if I'd known then what I know now I would never have dared.

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  2. I'm not sure I could ever sincerely pray for the ability to accept being calumniated. I wouldn't say that I *fear* it exactly, but it certainly wouldn't make me humble, at least not for a long time. Mad as hell is what it would make me.

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  3. Well, if it happens, it helps that you have been praying that. I guess it depends on what you mean by sincerely praying for it. I'm not sure that I feel like I sincerely mean any of it, but I will to mean it--when I pray it, which I haven't much recently.

    AMDG

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  4. Janet,

    This litany is truly beautiful. Many years ago Father Pugh gave us a reflection titled, Dying to Self. Gary and I have used it in various ways through the years. This litany is even more beautiful in prayer form.

    Love and prayers,
    Cathy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathy. It's good to see you.

      AMDG

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