Humility, Assessment, Glory

WASC is here this week. Our community has been preparing for this week for years, and we find ourselves under their microscope and our own as we receive this regular visit from our accreditation agency. It’s that moment when we sit down for our institutional SAT.

The text that met me Monday morning was a bit of an accreditation story, as Jesus’ disciples bring an assessment question to him in Mark 9:

9:38 John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ 39But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. 40Whoever is not against us is for us. 41For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

I was so moved by the prayer that our colleague Thema Bryant Davis shared at the 75th Anniversary Founder’s Day, which she concluded, “Take all the glory, take all the glory.” It’s not my first impulse, to let someone else take the credit. But, apparently, it’s the way of Jesus. We are invited to celebrate what God has done, and that God did it, just in this way.

It’s a party I want to want to go to.

May my deeds match the name in which I do them, and my words frame the good as God’s doing.

May I revel in freely giving the cup I have more than any amount of self-serving spectacle.

May the work of my hands find Christ at its end, and every assessing finger busy itself in extending the grace I’m invited to share.

May we bask in the freedom of God receiving all the glory.

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,
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 may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. Amen.

Mrs. Robert H. Saehloff, Port Ewan, New York, from The Pieta Prayer Booklet

A Maryknoll Book of Prayer, Ed. Leach & Perry (Orbis: NY, 2003), 109-110.

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