Humility Is Essential for Pro-Life Activists

life witness prayer bookAn article appeared recently on the Pro-Life Action League website encouraging anyone participating in 40 Days for Life to get a copy of our Life Witness Prayer Book, a resource to help make prayer time outside abortion facilities as constructive and focused as possible.

Since that time, we’re pleased to have filled orders for hundreds of these prayer books—and we hope to soon fill hundreds more.

The other day I was praying some of the prayers in the book outside of the Albany Medical/Surgical Center abortion facility near our office on Chicago’s Northwest Side, one of hundreds of abortion clinics across the country and around the world where 40 Days for Life vigils are currently being held.  One prayer, the Litany of Humility, I found particularly hard to pray.

Praying for Deliverance from…the Desire of Being Loved?

The first part of the prayer consists of several intercessions, each of which is followed by the plea, “Deliver me, Jesus”:

From the desire of being esteemed,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
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,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

How many of us can honestly say to Our Lord that we really and truly want Him to take away our desire to be honored, praised, preferred to others, esteemed—and even our desire to be loved?

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill petitions, and it’s hard to give voice to them.  But if we want to be holy, and therefore humble, we need to pray them sincerely.

The remainder of the prayer includes another series of intercessions, each of which is followed by the plea, “Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.”

That others may be loved more than I,
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,

We chose to include the Litany of Humility in the Life Witness Prayer Book not only because it’s a beautiful and powerful prayer in itself, but also to remind ourselves that when we pray outside of an abortion clinic, or have a conversation with someone who is “pro-choice,” or take part in any pro-life activity, it’s not about us.  Rather, it’s about God, and about submitting ourselves to His holy will.

It’s for this reason that our pro-life efforts will bear fruit only to the extent that they ultimately depend not on us, but on Him.

Order your copy of the Life Witness Prayer Book here.

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