Humility and a New Mind


“Repent and believe in the Gospel!” We hear it on Ash Wednesday, we hear it throughout Lent, we experience it at the foot of the Cross. What exactly does this “repentance” look like? In the Gospel there are two words used for repentance. There is Metamelomai which means to have a feeling or a care, a concern or a regret that leads to a sense of remorse. There is also Metanoia which runs deeper. It means “to have another mind,” to have a radical change whereby one turns from idols and from self-will and towards God’s will. This new divine perspective, this transformation from the mind of self to the mind of God, is the repentance Jesus calls each of us to during Lent. It’s the letting go of self so we can embrace Him, embrace His will, embrace His Cross. 


How do I do it? By growing in humility, be letting go of self-will through fasting, praying and almsgiving. Here is a prayer of humility that, when prayed sincerely and attentively, will bring many thoughts to mind, help you pray well and lead you to that metanoia
 

The 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 to others...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...Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
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 Va (1865-1930),
Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X