Rafael Cardinal Merry de Val was a Cardinal under Pope Pious X (1865-1930) composed a beautiful prayer that was shared with me by a colleague a little over a month ago. She warned us while handing it out that the prayer can be very powerful and has a tendency to sneak up you. She was so right!
Last week, while our principal was away celebrating her honeymoon, there was a particular (minor) disciplinary instance that I initially felt left out of. I had been under the impression that I was to be consulted in such matters. As I began to feel left out and disheartened, I felt a small nudge in my heart.
"From the desire of being consulted..."
As I have led the Prayer of Humility for the past two weeks, different lines have stood out to me and stayed with me. Instead of flinching when I feel left out, I am reminded that I want others to be preferred to me in everything. When my son reaches for another adult, I remember that I want others to be loved more than me. Praise is given to another for something I have also done... Jesus deliver me from the desire of being praised.
I can humbly say that I am not good at humility. But I also believe that Jesus will deliver me and provide me with the grace that I need so that I can become as holy as I should. I had no idea what I was really praying for. However, as time as gone by, I'm beginning to just barely understand the humility and service Jesus calls us to. Try incorporating this litany into your life, maybe for the upcoming Advent season? You'll be surprised by how powerful such a simple prayer can be.
Years ago, I learned that there are four different types of prayer: petition, contrition, thanksgiving, and adoration. 1 Timothy echos that, encouraging that everyone offer prayers of supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving (1 Timothy 2:5). We are called and encouraged to worship God fully, using all four types of prayer to connect with God's Love and Grace. Over the next four weeks, we're going to be digging into each of them and consider how we can incorporate each into our daily prayer routine. I would guess that we all use petition and thanksgiving regularly and contrition occasionally. In my personal experience, adoration is the one I tend to neglect (and I think that's pretty common).
Adoration is prayer that praises God. As Catholics, adoration is likely to be associated with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. This is when Jesus is present among us in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar is exposed and we can come spend time with Him, face-to-face. Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to spend time Jesus each week, quietly basking in His presence. Others though, are not able to. So how can they participate in prayers of adoration?
At its heart, adoration is what it means to be be still and know that God is with us (Psalm 46:10). It is what Mary did when she sat and watched after her Son's birth and held it in her heart (Luke 2:19). Mary provides with an excellent model, as she always does, on how to walk closely with her Son. Sometimes, we just need to observe Jesus in His greatness and keep His grace and glory in our hearts. Ultimately, when we take time to adore God, we are practicing a level intentional being. Just being with and around God; noticing God's ever-present grace in our lives. You can do this in many different ways but the goal is the same, quiet contemplation in and with God.
How can you adore God today? What can you do as you pray that creates space for God?