Franciscan Values Week 7: November 18-24

The thought for this week is Humility. In his Canticle of the Creatures, Francis writes: “Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks; And serve him with great humility.”



Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less. It is knowing your place before God and taking it. Being humble is a true knowing of yourself and your limitations. Humility is about being real and authentic with people and discarding the false masks. Those who see themselves as they truly are would surely be humble indeed.

Blessed is that servant who no more exalts himself/[herself] over the good the Lord says or does through him/[her] than over what he says or does through another. A person sins who wishes to receive more from his/[her] neighbour than what he/[she] wishes to give of himself/[herself] to the Lord God.

[Admonition XVII]


Blessed is the servant who does not consider himself any better when he/[she] is praised and exalted by people than when he is considered worthless, simple, and look down upon, for what a person is before God, that he is in no more.

[Admonition XIX]


Psalm Fragment:

And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness; And Your right hand shall teach You awesome things. ~ Psalm 45:3-5


Reflection Question:

Where in your life do you need to humble yourself before the Lord and, before others?

Action for this week:

Take a word of advice from the Greek philosopher Epictetus: If anyone tells you that a certain person spoke ill of you, do not make excuses about what was said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults or else he would have mentioned those as well!”


Prayer for the Week: A Christian Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, 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 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.

[- Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val]


Credits:

Carolyn D. Townes, OFS

with edits and addition by

Judith A. Terrameo, OSF

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