I need humility. Badly.
I think that is what God is telling me most, if not all, of my problems come back to. Of course, I'm not talking about my problem of not conceiving, as if as soon as I become humble I'll get pregnant. I'm talking about the problems I have as a result of my infertility - jealousy, anger, frustration, you know the ones. I'm just thinking more and more that the pain and sadness I feel might not cut as deep if I were more humble.
Jealousy is my big one right now. When I hear someone else is pregnant, or if I even imagine it happening in the future, I start to feel physically ill. Of course, I don't want others to suffer infertility, and I don't want something bad to happen to someone else just for the sake of them suffering. No, my reasoning, which isn't much better, is that I want others not to conceive so that I don't have to deal with it. But that's obviously self-centered and prideful of me.
Being humble is hard. It's hard and painful and it requires changing my entire way of thinking. To be humble is to want others to conceive before me.
Yes, actually wanting good to come to others and not myself.
This has been weighing on me ever since I first read the Litany of Humility several months ago. The words in the prayer are quite revealing regarding what is asked of us, and, for me, it was a real eye-opener for how short I fall. They are definitely words to live by, although I haven't actually gotten there yet:
Litany of Humility
O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
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,
Deliver me, Jesus.
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,
Deliver me, Jesus.
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 become as
holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. Amen.
After reading this prayer, I can't help but think that my life needs to drastically change. I'm far from where I should be.
That others may be chosen and I set aside. How pleasing to God it would be if I lived this way. But it just goes against everything society tells us. I was about to say that it goes against everything in our being, but I don't think that is true. God made us in his image, so, underneath it all, I think our souls want this, to be humble. But with sin, and the outside influences of a sinful world, we are conditioned to want our own success and the comfort that comes with it.
Being set aside is hard. I have to really retrain my brain to look at that as a positive, which is actually looking at infertility as a positive. I'm not yet convinced I'm capable of getting to that point. Surely, without God's grace I couldn't, but with Him anything is possible. Please, God, help me to change my life and live with humility!
One of the reasons I came to New York this week was because I was asked by a confirmation candidate to be her sponsor. She is actually the young woman I am doing a documentary on, about her life as a physically disabled teenager in a very large family of adopted children. Her parents are faithful Catholics, whose mission it is to adopt children in need. B, the wonderful girl I sponsored, is from Ser.bia and only came to the U.S. a couple years ago, but is already fluent and so smart. And she's one of the most outgoing and bubbly teenagers I've ever met.
She was confirmed last night, along with more than a hundred other youngsters at the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auri.esville, New York. Here we are, after the Mass:
She chose the confirmation name Kateri, for Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, who I love as well. Blessed Kateri is actually from the area where I grew up, and her national shrine is just across the river from where we were last night. I'm going to try to make it there this week if I can.
B did so good last night, I'm so honored she asked me to be her sponsor!