Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pride and Humility

In reality there is perhaps no one of our natural Passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself...For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility. - Benjamin Franklin

Oh, how true is the last part of that statement. I constantly struggle with my pride, and I'm just now realizing how rooted it is in every part of my life.

I mentioned before how I decided to take the advice of my spiritual director and start with a very small thing to conquer before moving onto the next. I've been working on waking up at 6 when the alarm goes off and not hitting the snooze button to go back to sleep. While I have not been perfect at this, I am beginning to rely on my one hour of my time. This was apparent to me this morning when Fritter woke up early at 6:30 and cried at his door. Generally if he wakes up before 7, he'll play happily in his room until I come to get him, but not this morning. This morning he needed his mom.

I grumpily went to get him, all the while thinking how unfair it was that I didn't get my whole hour to myself. But when I opened his door, and he looked at me with his big blue eyes and gave me a hug, I realized just how prideful and self-centered I can be. Here I am, complaining about not getting to be alone for a half-hour more, when my son just wanted to be with me. I snuggled him, changed him, and gave him his breakfast, and he was ready to play independently while I ate my breakfast and read my daily blogs.

So I did a little searching online about developing humility, the enemy of pride. Christ mentions pride and humility so often in the Gospels, that had I really been paying attention, I could see how important humility really is. There are so many books and websites about this virtue that it almost seems hard to know where to start. I say almost, because I should know to always start with prayer. I found the Litany of Humility that I'm going to start praying everyday. I'm also going to put a copy of it on my fridge to remind me every time I see it.

Besides praying, I feel I should actually do something. Right now, I feel I should work on my tone of voice. I know this seems like it doesn't go along with pride, but trust me, in my case it does. I raise my voice needlessly at Fritter and at my dear husband too frequently. Because, of course, it's all about me. So lowering my voice and concentrating on speaking calmly is my habit to work on, until I'm more in control of it. And just because I'm working on a new habit, does not give me the excuse to give up on the one I've mostly cultivated (thanks be to God!).

Litany of Humility
Taken from Confraternity of Penitents

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,
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,
Deliver me, Jesus.

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,
Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
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 become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. Amen.

1 comment:

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur said...

This is very good. Thank you for sharing.