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When mercy and humility meet

Pause for Reflection column by Ken Rolheiser
Ken Rolheiser
Pause For Reflection column

            A great Lenten exercise is to reflect on mercy and humility.

            Two qualities to be desired in life are mercy and humility. On December 7, 2015, Aleteia listed 56 ways to show mercy during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. For your convenience I would like to share 10 of my favourites.

            1: Resist sarcasm; it is the antithesis of mercy.

            “Set, O Lord, a guard over my mouth; keep watch, O Lord, at the door of my lips!” – Psalm 141:3.

            2: Call someone who you know is lonely, even if you understand why he or she is lonely.

            3: Plan a mini pilgrimage to a local shrine; make an effort along the way to live the corporal work of mercy of  “welcoming the stranger” as Christ.

            4: Be mindful of your behaviour online. Is that post designed to improve your image (or) to serve your anger and humiliate others?

            5: If you can’t sit down beside a homeless person to talk for a while today, at least send a donation to a ministry that does do this (such as Christ in the City).

            6: Memorize the 14 corporal and spiritual works of mercy and show your children what they mean.

            7: Make a point to smile, greet or make conversation with someone who is not in your everyday circle.

            8: Learn the Jesus Prayer and use it: "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

            9: Ask the Holy Spirit to groan for you when you cannot bring yourself to pray for someone who has done you an injury. “(When) We do not know what we ought to pray for… the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans,” – Romans 8:26.

            10: When mercy for others is difficult, pray Cardinal Merry del Val’s Litany of Humility (included here).

            As to humility – I find this Litany of Humility personally challenging, self effacing and worth sharing:

            “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,

            “From the desire of being honoured,

            “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, deliver me, O Jesus.

            “From the fear of being despised,

            “From the fear of suffering rebukes,

            “From the fear of being calumniated [slandered],

            “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, O 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, O Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.”

            May God grant you a grace-filled year of mercy.

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