In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be, and in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die.
The reason for this is that I am born in selfishness and therefore my natural efforts to make myself more real and more myself, make me less real and less myself, because they revolve around a lie. – Thomas Merton, “New Seeds of Contemplation”
I fear pride. I fear that when I meet criticism, however unjust it may be, that I will close my ears and heart and merely think, “I am being persecuted unreasonably by worldly people.” Or worse, to relish in such persecution because I think it sanctifies me.
I pray that my feet will always be planted firmly on the ground. That even as my conscience is at peace, that I will not be tempted into spiritual pride for having been faithful. I pray that no matter how unpleasant, unjust or ridiculous a criticism may be, that I will listen attentively so that I will not miss anything that God may be saying to me.
I pray that I will not be distracted by the flaws and faults I see in those around me, especially in those who persecute me. Let me continue to see that God dwells in them, and God give me grace to look within myself to see what I can change and improve in me, for there is always, always room for greater improvement!
Lord, protect me from myself. Help me to lose myself in order that I may find who I really am. Help me to die to myself, so that I can live in You!