Litany of Humility

Here is a beautiful prayer that I was just reminded of today. I need to pray it more often, to keep life in perspective…

Litany of Humility
Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

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

Amen.

Culture

I have a class on global cultures, specifically focusing on Ireland. We have to write a page a week, and I decided to post some of this weeks thoughts. Enjoy!

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            The more that I learn about any culture, the more I realize and am fascinated by the fact that each culture is just made up of ordinary people. People that together make up the human race; all having the same desires and fears, and yet the environment that they live in changes how they pursue what they desire and turn away from what they fear. The change in culture is really that change of path of one way that they seek to satisfy the basic desires of happiness and fulfillment to something another way; in this case, a way that others in the world have already sought. This desire is to create in us a thirst for God and His life, but because of our sinful nature, we are distracted and think that pleasures are equal to happiness.

            In my understanding of what I’ll call “the old Irish way”, the Catholic faith was the single most deciding factor in the way a person acted. The family was important, because it was the place that you could show and practice the love that brought happiness. Communities came together, worshiped together, and therefore lived and learned to love together. However, somewhere along the line the understanding of what it really meant to be Catholic got lost, and so no longer gave the sense of fulfillment and happiness that a healthy relationship with God gives. Instead, well meaning souls rejected the effort of learning to know God, and therefore had a more difficult time in loving and serving Him. While serving Him was still a priority, without knowledge and love to give them energy, the service became empty and repressive.

            Therefore, the Irish people began to become dissatisfied with the way they were—and while still valuing the effects of the Faith, they saw the alluring effects of modern consumerism. The shift changed from valuing their Faith most highly to valuing the economy most highly. While it was not completely noticeable at first, it continued slipping in and now each person is a slave to their wants under the guise of moving up in globalization and modernity.

            This rejection of the core of the Catholic Faith has and will continue to impact Irish culture. In the video, they mentioned that there is a shortage of organ donors, so they want to pass legislation that states that a persons organs will be donated unless they have explicitly made their intentions know otherwise. This is a horrible thing; it degrades the human person by not recognizing the dignity that each one has. In organ donation, it is necessary to take the organs while the person still has the potentiality of life. It is impossible to take a vital organ that is no longer working, place it in a person that is alive, and expect it to work; the organ must have the potential to work in order to do any good in the body of the person who receives it. Therefore, with organ donation the life of a person is shortened; by passing such legislation, they will be denying the dignity of each person that has not taken a firm stance, and submitting them to the wants of another person. This also gives less incentive to keep those who are seriously ill (on life support) alive any longer, because their bodies can be of use to others. This just creates a very slippery slope, desensitizing society to the value of any persons life.

            Ireland is in the same struggle as the rest of the civilized world to be the same and different; yet as all countries need to discover, constantly striving after individualism and consumerism does not bring unity or diversity in a good way. Desiring happiness and fulfillment can not be fully achieved in this world, but by ordering our lives instead of becoming animals whose rationality serves passing pleasures we can better achieve true happiness and fulfillment in the dignity of every person.

It makes me laugh…

Yes, I say that a lot. A LOT. But it is true! Simple things make me laugh. Today, there was a great example:

In the homily at Mass, the priest was making the point that we should be more mature in our understanding of the Faith, and said, “We are all adults now.” There was a very short pause, after which Peter (2 years old) interjected with a distinct: “Uh-oh.”

As you can imagine, there was a moment of laughter. Little kids are so cute…and I think that God has a great sense of humor to allow a normally quiet toddler say something in Mass that makes everyone laugh.

Uh-oh…. 😀

Little joys

When your world is a whirlwind of busyness, afternoons of productivity bring joy. This quarter is full, yet again. There is a lot of homework to be done, and in the past week I have felt overwhelmed more than once. Yesterday morning I felt such a way, but then I got a large amount of both homework and cleaning done. The result was a happy Lisa. 😀

I have been participating in the rosary novena praying that FOCA does not pass. I have also had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at school (part of the time doing homework) and attend daily Mass. Our apartment is clean, my laundry is clean, I have food in my cupboard, and am on my way to completing tomorrows homework. Life is good.

In the next few weeks, I have hundreds of pages to read, a few pages of reports to write, study questions and homework assignments to complete, a presentation to give (with a group), a 8 page research paper to write, a business to help plan, a 20 page final report to start on, and a Europe trip to prepare for; as well as keeping myself alive by remembering to eat and sleep. However, I am optimistic right now. This is hard, not impossible. I have had a heavy workload before, and I will do my best and use my time wisely to finish. By the end of March, I will have completed my sophomore quarter; on I will move into Junior territory with more challenges.

So in this time of crazyness, I must remember and be thankful for my little joys. I am thankful for my family, for Daniel, for his family, for this school (hard though it may be), that God has given me the intelligence and work ethic to do well, that I am half done, that the sun is shining and the sky is blue, that the cool wind blows in my window at night, that I can walk, that I am healthy, that I know how to cook, that God is around me and will always be there, and that He gives us the opportunity to grow into union with Him.

On another note, please keep praying. May God bless and Mary keep you all!

Update / 2009

It was good to go home. Good to have the little kids clamoring to sit by me, have piles of snow out the window, talks with my Mom and Dad, visiting with other family… It is a little strange going home, because I have been there so little in the past 15 months and everything goes on without me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This break I think I spent more time on the phone than I have in the same period my entire life…it is amazing how you will change when you miss someone. 🙂 I also picked up a cold for the past week that I was there–I think I am just about over it now.

I usually write a post on New Years, but this year didn’t really feel like it or know what to say. I found out the extent of the situation that I asked for prayers for the day before; all I can say is please keep praying for my family. For a long time.

Yesterday Daniel and I went walking/hiking. It is a really nice and pretty area that is only 2 miles away from the apartments! We will go back many times, I am sure. Now there is both Mirimar Lake and Rancho Penasquitos Canyon where we can go to get away from the constant noise of people and the city. I always liked walking, and am learning how much I enjoy hiking. Although I get nervous when there are stones in mud on a steep incline, the view from higher up is worth it. Pictures cannot do it justice.

Today classes start again. It is really weird to have afternoon classes without any morning classes–I haven’t had this schedule in quite a while, and it is the first time to have multiple days that this is the case. I was not sure if I like it or not, because while it is nice to have the morning to do homework, adoration and other things, I am more likely to have a hard time staying awake in class. Perhaps if I run or do jumping jacks before class I will be okay…

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2008 was an interesting year. I frequently looked back on my resolution and worked on it, but it often seemed like I failed. I guess I will just have to keep trying. It was a long, full, hard, happy year. Although many things stayed the same, even more changed and I think I have grown and matured because of it. Perhaps despite my daily struggles, I may become a lady someday.

In 2009 I hope to become more childlike. I want to see the wonder of life around me, trust that everything is in the Father’s Hands, uplift those with whom I come in contact with a smile, and live each day with a mature carefreeness that bespeaks the unshakeable trust that a joyful woman united to Christ should have. I want to fulfill every day by completing my duties and living in the moment.

On a less important level, I want to become better at cooking so as to have more variety in meals I can serve. I want to brush up on some of my sewing skills. I want to regularly walk and work out (though not for purposes of losing weight!). There are many more things I can think of that I would like to do, but are not practical to list as they will never get done. So I will end.

May God bless and Mary keep you all!