A prayer for myself

It used to strain my nerves a bit when told to pray for myself. Why be so self-centred, I would wonder. But the thing is, we do pray for ourselves all the time, don’t we? Help me. Heal me. Heed me. So let’s pray for ourselves without guile, under no guise of being holier than us of the past. Without a daily washing of the metaphorical feet, we let ourselves get manacled by layers of gunk; it has to be scraped off and scrubbed clean, even though things get rather comfortable under a blanket of dull negativity.

Here’s a prayer that might make the mending of a broken heart a little bit easier if, alas, you’re nursing one, or, alack-a-day, are in danger of causing some (thanks be to Pete Greig and the Merry Cardinal del Val):

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honoured, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated*, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, O 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 go 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 may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

* calumniated: to be slandered, defamed, falsely charged

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