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.

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Melancholy reflections

Every so often I have sobering reflections. Not necessarily inspired by sadness, but rather inspired by a glimpse of human mortality, weakness and imperfection. Todays reflections are inspired in part by a “final post” on the blog of a soldier. He had arranged with a friend that this particular post be published in event of his death; I did not see his blog before today, but he died just earlier this week. I think perhaps his soul needs prayers. 🙂

Death is such a strange thing; for many people, it inspires fear or dread. Others seem indifferent to it, and some look forward to it. I have mixed feelings about it…sometimes it terrifies me, yet sometimes I feel like I can say with St. Paul, “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Perhaps I will never fully understand why I cling to my mortal life; it is something that I cannot rationalize, but rather just muse on. However, I realize that I should not fear–the entire world is held in the hands of God, and God is love. As St. John said in the reading today, “…There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…” (1 Jn 4:18). Through the crucifixion and resurrection, Christ showed us not to be afraid of death because He has triumphed with perfect love; perhaps why we are still so afraid of death is because we are so far from perfection in our love.

All the loves that God will give us in this world are just a reflection of His love; but it is so tempting to desire those lesser loves instead of giving everything to Him. It is hard to really grasp the concept and worth of true peace and happiness, especially when you are in the midst of so many blessings. It seems that there is a fine line between enjoying God’s blessings and beginning to follow those blessings instead of God Himself. Somehow I must learn to accept all blessings graciously yet never expect any more…to be grateful for today, and have the trust that tomorrow I will be given what I need. That I must live one day at a time, seeking eternity in every action and opening my heart to learn to love ever more perfectly.

“…There is nothing more I could desire:
I accept and love whatever you decide.”

(Accept, O Lord from Heavenwards)

Please pray

Please pray for all the people affected by the Southern California fires. As of right now, we are fine where we are…thank God that we are safe here! 🙂 However, there are many evacuations close to here, including families of students and faculty–and classes have been canceled for today. We have been able to see smoke since yesterday, and the air has gotten progressively worse. Right now we are just sitting tight in our apartment.

Thinking about the fires have given me a new appreciation for the power of fire; I have been thinking a lot about “setting the world ablaze” with love for Christ, and what that really means. To be so consumed by love that nothing can stop us, and that the devil feels helpless in our path. :-p

Everything is so dry. I don’t think I have ever experienced 5% humidity before…I can’t say that it is very pleasant. Dry, gusty winds mixed with flames are quite frightening. Jesus, I trust in You

Odds and ends

I need to find my inner calm again – God. I feel like I have been inundated with blessings lately, and yet I cannot seem to view them transparently as I did. Recently I have felt so busy in my prayers, and I don’t like it…there is too much of “me” everywhere. I guess I just need to find a place that is quiet and let my thoughts go – but my world is a world of noise. If I try going to daily Mass and staying afterwards, there are either people talking…or the Church is being cleaned and vacuumed. Or I am at home, and my room is hot…and everywhere else is noisy. And right now, if I stay outside for long, I get eaten by bugs. Sigh…I must know that the Father gives me difficulties for my greatest good.

This past week we have done a lot of cleaning. I have tackled several projects myself, as well as helping with the main areas of the house. Since it is the week of the County Fair (the 28th – 3rd), there are fewer people around to make a mess as you are cleaning. It is quite nice to view a completed project in a reasonable amount of time. 🙂

I have also done a good amount of reading – I am almost finished with “Love and Responsibility”.  It is awesome to realize in a deeper way how much love and the order of nature is perfectly integrated in each person. It gives me a deeper longing to be a genuine personality, to be part of a perfect society, to discover more and more that everything comes from God, and we can return our entire selves and all with us to Him because we love Him. I highly recommend this book to older teens on up.

The weekend was beautiful. The weather was very nice, and I spent a relaxing day on Sunday with my family. I was so glad to finally have a Sunday that I did not have to go anywhere (except Holy Mass, of course)!

Last night I got my hair cut. It was getting too long, and was difficult to handle; and I decided that as long as I was going to cut it, I might as well donate it to Locks of Love. It feels quite strange – and it is amazing that even though my hair is fine, it still had considerable weight. In case you are wondering how much I cut off, here are pictures: before & after.

Two days until my sister comes to visit; two weeks and two days until I am done working; three weeks and two days and I will be in San Diego. Some moments I wish it was here already…some moments I think I am crazy…and some moments I don’t know how I will do it. The craziest things are getting to me – for example, I am not sure how I am going to cook. I only know how to make sandwhiches and large meals! Cooking the way I know how, one meal would last me well over a week. Packing is looking very daunting right now – knowing and deciding what I need to bring, along with balancing the things I want to bring. I am very tempted to bring a lot of sweaters, because to me, winter = cold. It will all work out somehow…and it will be a learning experience, no doubt.

As a last side note for this post, I added a new page for requests. Please feel free to leave me comments. 🙂

Prayer for purity that Fr. Kentenich wrote in his youth:

Hail Mary, for the sake of your purity, keep me pure in body and soul. Open wide to me your heart and the heart of your Son. Implore for me deep self knowledge and the grace to persevere until death. Give me souls, keep all else for yourself. Amen.

A tired mind

that loves to write. So many people to talk to, so many things to think about, so many things to do…and a body that doesn’t want to keep up. As a result, this post will basically be random thoughts, strung together with a smile. 😀

Thank you for your prayers. Andrea is a young woman whose blog I read on occasion ; she was pregnant and went into labor on Friday morning. The baby was not turning as quickly as the doctor liked, but everything turned out fine. Please continue to pray for them as they regain strength.

 Work has been very busy lately. This past week we got an excessive amount of merchandise in, and so pricing and trying to find room to store it has taken up a lot of time. We got so much, in fact, that they asked me to come in for extra hours – they were even willing to pay me several hours of overtime. I am happy about the larger paycheck I will be receiving, but I am tired after working every day this week. It isn’t so much the number of hours that I work, but rather the lack of a day to relax and catch up. I guess that is just one little sacrifice I must make.

Right now I am reading “The Spirit of the Liturgy”, written by (now) Pope Benedict XVI. It is easy to read and makes you think. I think I will get through it quickly. Hopefully I can get “Love and Responsibility” back from the library this week, and finish that as well.

I have a bit of writing to do. I need to finish at least 2 letters and an article this week (self imposed deadlines). I also need to attempt to organize a meeting. And finish sending out invitations to my farewell party. And work on Christmas presents. And play with my siblings. And start to pack up the things to leave home. And finish some sewing/mending. And… well, perhaps I should stop. 🙂

This week, I was excited to figure out that Vince Lombardi was Catholic! I never really knew much about him – only the facts that he was a Packer coach and considered to be a very good one. Last week while I was pricing some books of quotes from him (at work), I flipped through the pages and a few quotes caught my eye. One mentioned “the Church” and was said in a way that I suspected that the Catholic Church was implied! My interest was piqued, and so I searched for information on the internet…I think that perhaps I will use his example to demonstrate responsibility and leadership in an article at some point. I still have to do a little more research and thinking, but I am impressed with his wisdom.

Please pray for me as I prepare to go to California. I want to prepare not only physically, but also spiritually. Sometimes I am scared when I think how easily I get stressed out here at home – I don’t know how I will handle it there! – but know I must place my faith in God and have perfect trust that everything will work out. I can’t decide which thoughts are in the front or back of my mind, but one says that I will do fine because I adapt well, and the other makes me think that I am a nieve little country girl, about to be horrified by city life. :p I guess only time will tell.

I have so much to say, but I think that most will have to be saved for private conversations. There is too much of an abundance of thoughts and feelings to bother the general public with…so I will close with the Compline prayer from the “Schoenstatt Office”.

Silent and tired, the sun now goes to rest and Sion smiles on us from afar.

Your dying was an ecstacy of purest longing:
your body never knew corruption.
You reign now transfigured in the “Holy City,”
on Sion, which God has opened to you.

Through the shrine you constantly direct us upwards
to the eternal Schoenstatt where we will one day praise God.
You show us the transitoriness of the earthly world
until you have led us to things eternal.

Teach me to live each day so that my dying
becomes easy, as befits an heir of heaven.
Teach me to judge myself each night in such a way
that after death I may see you and God.

Glory be joyfully given to the Father
through Christ with Mary, highly praised,
in the Holy Spirit full of splendor
from the universe now and in all eternity. Amen.

Thoughts…lessons…life

A few everyday things that make me happy (in no particular order):

-watching someone’s face light up into a smile when I smile at them
-little kids running to me with outstreched arms
-conversations with family and friends
-offering up my heart more totally in trust
-sitting in the Shrine at Schoenstatt, or “spiritually visiting” the Shrine
-laughter
-sunshine and thunderstorms
-dreams
-writing and reading

With so many reasons to be joyful, why do I allow myself to dwell on what I don’t have? God has taken perfect care of me for my whole life, why can’t I trust that He can handle the rest of it too?

Has anyone ever had a little child that wanted to “help” carry something? Their strength is limited, and so it makes the burden more awkward at times…and yet, they must help. The recognition of their desire to feel needed and loved is so great that we can’t help but give them the pleasure of letting them “assist”. And then, as they get older, sometimes they think they can do it by themselves. Slowly you let go of your side of the burden, ready to quickly pick up the slack; the realization that it is more than their little hands can handle makes them all the more willing to receive help again. Then it continues. As they grow older, stronger, and more capable, you allow them to take more of the burden.

In a way, I think this is how I see my life. I am the little child that wants to “help” in the great act of bringing all people to salvation. Sometimes through my weaknesses, I am sure that I make it more awkward for others to fulfill their part; and yet, I must help. And God has granted me so much pleasure in seeing the little ways in which I can assist…sometimes, I even think that I am really doing great things. I think that I can do so much more, I plan my life to go the way that I see “perfect” and most influential. I think that I can effectively bring people to God through my own way of thinking, my own narrow striving, my own exemplary life. And then God allows me to feel the heaviness of the cares of the world; the heaviness of distrust; the heaviness of self-dependence. I must let go and allow Him to pick up the slack…and yet strive to grow in my capability to share the suffering of the Cross and thus, the salvation of souls.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I feel like I have gotten very little done this past week. It went fast and was seemingly busy, but kind of in the “running in a circle” way. I am going to work on my strivings of productivity. I am trying to root out the things that distract me from using my time and talents to the best of my ability; I need to improve my self denial now, so that I don’t have to deal with as much of a lazy and procrastinating mind while learning the ropes at school.

I don’t know if the coming week will be stressful and tiring, peaceful and tiring, or peaceful and restful. Tomorrow and Saturday I work; tomorrow night I am going to a Holy Mass with Archbishop Dolan at Schoenstatt; Saturday I am going to a graduation party; Sunday I am going to Schoenstatt, and then staying there until Thursday night to help out with the girls camp. Before I leave on Saturday I will need to have all my laundry done and everything ready to go. It will also be good practice of detachment to be away from the computer and college preparations for so long, lol.

Please pray for a few special intentions. And please pray that someday I may become a saint. All is lost with the loss of God…

“You know the way for me, you know the time; into your hands, I trustingly place mine. Your plan is perfect, born of perfect love. You know the way for me, that is enough.”

St. Joseph, pray for me…

Today I received more paperwork to fill out and send in for college. And it dawned on me tonight that there might be a few complications as regards health insurance, and the form has to be back before August 1st. I am doing a novena to St. Joseph (my confirmation patron) that everything works out … if you would be so kind as to join me, I would greatly appreciate it. May God bless and Mary keep you!

St. Joseph, patron of all who serve God in simplicity of heart and steadfast devotion, ask the Lord to fill my heart with the fire of his love. Awaken within me the virtues of integrity, simplicity, reverence, and gentleness, so that I may radiate God’s love to those around me. Intercede for me in my time of particular need and obtain for me the favor I ask (that health insurance and financing work out quickly). Blessed Joseph, be my protector in life and my consoler at the moment of death. Amen.