Many months ago, during a period of moderate doubt and discouragement in my life, I was given a penance after Confession which has since rocked my world.
Unlike the typical five Hail Mary’s and five Our Father’s, this one was more out of the ordinary, more challenging. But it was also much more fruitful.
I was told to write a personal litany.
A few days before, I had received the same advice from a dear friend. God was definitely inviting me to this form of devotion.
My Personal Litany
The following personal litany is the one which I wrote soon thereafter:
From the fear of being unseen
Deliver me, Jesus (repeat after each invocation).
From the fear of being unwanted,
From the fear of being unloved,
From the fear of being judged,
From the fear of other’s opinions,
From the fear of overthinking,
From the fear of being untrue to myself and others.
From the fear of losing others,
From the fear of scaring others away,
From the fear of losing control,
From the fear of the future,
From the fear of choosing wrong,
From the fear of being alone,
From the fear of messing up,
From the fear of scrupulosity,
From the fear of being a burden,
From the fear of having to prove myself,
From the fear of being pitied,
From the lie of comparison,
From the lie of inadequacy,
From the lie of perfectionism,
From the lie of not being enough,
From all jealousy,
From all envy,
From all pride,
From distrust of You,
That I may be fully present where my feet are,
Jesus, grant me the grace to improve (repeat after each invocation).
That I may be patient with myself,
That I may know my worth fully in You,
That I may see myself through Your eyes,
That my outlook may remain positive,
That I may always assume the good in uncertainty,
That I may surrender my emotions to You,
That I may rejoice in the goodness of others,
That I may be always others-focused and free from self-centeredness,
That I may love with Your overwhelming mercy,
That I may trust all those who deserve my trust,
That I may be freed from wounds of the past,
That I may be always aware of Your constant presence,
That my trust in You may be radical and complete,
That I may surrender my past, present, and future to You,
That I may be content in You and You alone.
How to Compose Your Own Personal Litany
If this litany strikes you at all, I encourage you to pray with it. But more importantly, I encourage you to form a litany of your own.
There is a power to putting into words exactly those things with which we are struggling and areas in which we need God’s grace and help.
Ask Jesus to Show You
This practice can be very humbling and vulnerable, but ask Jesus to help you acknowledge the core of your current struggles.
He will give you the strength to admit them.
Pray with Pre-Written Litanies
I found it helpful to pray with other pre-written litanies I knew as well.
The Litanies of Trust, Humility and Joy are beautiful pieces which might give you a good starting point or a good formatting idea.
Insert Your Own Struggles and Desires
Don’t be afraid to branch out from the pre-written litanies.
If there are particular lies or fears which you can pinpoint as present in your life and heart, I encourage you to name them openly and honestly.
He wants to hear about each and every aspect of our lives, and nothing is uninteresting to Him. After all, Hebrews 4:15 tells us:
…we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
In the end, I hope this random but divinely-inspired penance is as fruitful to you as it has been for me.The Power of a Personal Litany #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Mary Grace Tillman, or Gracie, is a student, daughter, sister, friend, and full-time extrovert. If you don’t find her on the nearest soccer field, she is probably lost down some country road with the windows down and tunes blaring. She loves to praise God through music and sports and she strives to live life to the fullest.