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Prayer 20 from Therese of Lisieux

 

 

[original manuscript lost]

 

Prayer for Acquiring Humility

Jesus!
July 16, 1897.
O Jesus! when you were a Pilgrim on earth, you said: "Learn of Me for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls." O Mighty Monarch of Heaven, yes, my soul finds rest in seeing you, clothed in the form and nature 5 of a slave, humbling yourself to wash the feet of your apostles. I recall your words that teach me how to practice humility: "I have given you an example so that you may do what I have done. The disciple is not greater than the Master.... If you understand this, happy are you if you put them into practice." Lord, 10 I do understand these words that came from your gentle and humble Heart and I want to practice them with the help of your grace.1 want truly to humble myself and to submit my will to that of my sisters. I do not wish to contradict them nor seek to see whether or not they have the right to command me. O my Beloved, no one had this right over you and yet you obeyed not only the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph but even your executioners. Now in the Sacred Host I see you at the height of your annihilations. How humble you are, O di­vine King of Glory, to subject yourself to all your 20 priests without making any distinction between those who love you and those who are, alas! lukewarm or cold in your ser­vice... At their word you come down from heaven. Whether they advance or delay the hour of the Holy Sacri­fice, you are always ready O my Beloved, how gentle and humble of heart You seem under the veil of the white Host! To teach me humil­ity you cannot humble yourself further. Therefore, to re­spond to your love, I desire that my sisters always put me in the lowest place and I want to convince myself that this place is indeed mine.30
I beg you, my Divine Jesus, to send me a humiliation whenever I try to set myself above others. I know, o my God, that you humble the proud soul but to the one who humbles herself you give an eternity of glory. So I want to put myself in the last rank and to share your humiliations so as "to have a share with you" in the kingdom of Heaven.But, you know my weakness, Lord. Every morning I make a resolution to practice humility and 40 in the evening I recognize that I have committed again many faults of pride. At this I am tempted to become discouraged but I know that discouragement is also pride. Therefore, O my God, I want to base my hope in You alone. Since you can do everything, deign to bring to birth in my soul 45 the virtue I desire. To obtain this grace of your infinite mercy I will very often repeat: "O Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like yours!"
 

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