Tuesday, January 3, 2012
A Conscience Jab
"O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Make [my] heart like Yours,
From the desire of being esteemed,
DELIVER ME, O 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,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the desire of being popular,
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 wronged,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being suspected,
That others may be more loved 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...
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
have mercy on [me], O Lord.
(Eileen Egan and Kathleen Egan, Prayertimes with Mother Teresa, (New York: Image Books, 1989), 134-5. Used with permission as quoted in How to Live Right When Your Life Goes Wrong, Vernick, 98-9)
I'm certain it was no coincidence that the book opened to this reflection. The Lord was intimately at work in my life at that moment, and I was duely pricked and poked as I read. I see in these words many forms of self-focus that fester in my heart. As a wife, I want to be consulted. As a mom, I'm regularly tempted to insist on being honored. As a homemaker, I'm certain I deserve to be praised.
But I don't want pride to determine my thoughts, my words or my actions. I belong to Jesus, and I want Him to rule and reign in my heart instead. I'm going to hang this prayer on my mirror to remind me to keep crying out to the great Heart-Changer that He'll remake me in the image of His Son, just as He's promised to do.
*Calumniated--Slandered; falsely accused; maliciously accused of what is criminal, immoral or disgraceful. (Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 2005)