A Litany of Humility for Mothers

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"A Litany of Humility for Mothers" by Tami Kiser (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Tami Kiser. All rights reserved.

“Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way.”

So goes an old country song.

In fact, this Lent, I’ve been thinking a lot about how God wants me to be better, to do better, because I know that I’m not perfect. The word that keeps coming to me is “pride.” I keep seeing and hearing messages about pride and humility. I personally don’t think have a problem with pride … but since prideful people very seldom admit that they have any problems at all, maybe, just maybe I might have a small problem with pride. Probably just a little one.

Ok, all kidding aside. Humility isn’t my strong suit. I absolutely hate to admit that I’m wrong. I like to see my name in the spotlight. I like getting praise from others. So when I decided to really try to look at my life this Lent to see what area I needed to improve, pride is the message God keeps giving to me. In fact, it’s the root of many evils.

Our insecurities, doubts, comparisons and jealousies, all stem from pride.

Just the other day, I ran across the Litany for Humility. I’ve prayed this in the past, but its always been extremely uncomfortable for me to pray. Have you ever seen this prayer?  You can find it on the EWTN website.

Sometimes while I’m praying it, I think to myself, “No, I don’t really want this.”

But what’s beautiful about the prayer is that the prayer is for the desire. For example“From the desire of being praised, deliver us Jesus.” (I sometimes even have to ask for the desire to desire this!) In the end of the litany we ask for the grace to desire it. Yes, that’s what I really need — the grace to desire it!

I thought about this prayer in terms of my motherhood, where much of my pride, vanity and self-importance is challenged, and I decided to write my own.

Litany of Humility for Mothers  

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

From the desire of being esteemed as a “great mom,”
Deliver me, Jesus. 

From the desire of being seen as the mom with the best snack and healthiest packed lunch,
Deliver me, Jesus. 

From the desire of always looking like I’ve got my act together,
Deliver me, Jesus. 

From the desire of being the one consulted about other children’s problems because I think I know all of the answers,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being pointed out as having a large number of kids and still looking so good,
Deliver me, Jesus. 

From the desire of wanting my kids to appear holy and saintly, especially when with other moms who really do have saintly kids,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of only wanting this picture of my children’s happy faces in a constructive activity so that I can put it on Instagram or Facebook,
Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated when by child says an embarrassing word or story,
Deliver me, Jesus. 

From the fear of being forgotten when I’m home with the kids all day and don’t get out of the house,
Deliver me, Jesus. 

From the fear of being ridiculed when I do go out and find that I’ve got white spit-up on my black sweater,
Deliver me, Jesus. 

That other mothers may be loved more than I, even though I’m surrounded by daily hugs and snuggles,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That other mothers may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, other mothers may increase and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That other mothers may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That other mothers may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That other mothers may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Print this litany.

Adapted from the Litany of Humility by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Secretary of State for Saint Pius X


Copyright 2018 Tami Kiser

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About Author

Tami is the author of Smart Martha's Catholic Guide for Busy Moms and the founder of SmartMartha.com. She lives in Greenville, SC with her husband and family. Tami runs the online CatholicConference4Moms, Smart Martha ministry, CatholicFamilyCelebrations.com, CatholicMosaic.com, and teaches dance classes. Thinking like a Smart Martha has helped her to constantly seek to “sit at Christ’s feet” even in the midst of piles of laundry and sinks of dirty dishes.

8 Comments

  1. Tami, this post was a “Grand Slam”! My greatest Lenten penance has been praying the Litany of Humility daily. It’s led to some giant frustrations and some beautiful insights. Just as I was getting familiar with the words and not paying them their due justice, along came this piece and my eyes and heart see this prayer with new eyes. You’ve given it a perspective that stirs it up anew! Now I’m going to have to write a Litany of Humility for teachers…and wives…and daughters…and……! God bless your day and thank you for these beautiful words!

    • This humility stuff is so hard–but it’s so beautiful at the same time. Please pray for me today and I will do the same for you.

    • You are so welcome! I think we all need this. Everyday!
      Please pray for me today and I will do the same for you.

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