Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Victim Soul Must Be Humble

It goes without saying that humility undergirds the victim soul. But I'll say more about it, anyway.

Many might secretly (or openly) harbor thoughts of envy or curiosity about the life of a victim soul. Oh, wow! Wouldn't it be special? One v.s. heard a recent comment from a priest, "So you are one of the chosen elect." Whether or not the priest said this in sarcasm or as a statement of fact (which may or not be fact, as victim souls are chosen, yes, but not necessarily "elect"--not like the chosen elect of those called to Holy Orders)--is beside the point. Any victim soul worth his or her salt-in-the-wounds should know that the job is perhaps "specialized" but not a choice hunk of cake.

[An aside here: If the victim soul is bothered by the above such statement, which may be an attempt on the part of the priest to humble the v.s. or to humiliate the v.s. (there is a difference in these terms), an examination must be instituted immediately. If a cause of upset, know that all roads lead to self: self-pride, self-concern, self-embarrassment, self-frustration, self-hurt, self-belittlement. Desire to be grated, broiled and eaten dead or alive, o half-baked, little crumb of cheese lying alone at the base of the cross of the Big Cheese Who stands alone! (See "The Cheese Stands Alone" at www.omniaproDeo.blogspot.com]

Let's say something about the difference in terms. Humble means to take a modest or low view of one's own importance. The word derives from Old French, and further from the Latin humilis, meaning "low, lowly" and from humus, meaning "ground". Humiliation, however, and from the mid-18th century on, means to make someone feel ashamed and foolish by injuring their dignity and self-respect, especially publicly.

Either and both terms, and above all the experience of them, are desirous and worthy of embrace for any humble, humiliated victim soul.

Sure, a victim soul might be tempted to pride in thinking how special is this vocation. But those who are any depth into the job probably don't have too much pride. Jesus and His Mother make sure a victim soul has plenty of work and not so much time to entertain vainglory. Besides, there are three antidotes given a victim soul to ward off pride.

1) Pain. 2) Pain. 3) Pain. Oh yesSirree: Suffering of all types, and the worst can be spiritual suffering. Love promotes the suffering like a fan helping the spark erupt into glorious flame. Remember how Jesus said He came to this earth to set it on fire, and O, how He wished it were burning already?

A victim soul is kindling for Jesus' fire. A victim soul is to help light the earth, and maybe more so to help burn the crud out of it.

In the process, though, it might not be so much pride in having this job as much as not being able to cope with the suffering. Not being equipped with handling the "hits." Humility helps here.

For example, maybe a victim soul is trying to get help in some aspect of a suffering or insight. The victim soul should not discuss these interior matters with others; this seems to be the rule passed down from victim soul to victim soul through example and writings left for the next generations. So the victim soul expresses interior life to the confessor, and the confessor might feel great duty to make sure the victim soul is not boasting or proud of the various experiences that can accompany such a vocation. It is humbling for the victim soul to be chastised when all he or she wanted was assistance in discernment or to simply get the manifestations out of the mind (so as to not harbor them and be tempted to pride). Get it?

For example, perhaps a victim soul has been given an assignment to suffer for some soul in need, and the soul doesn't respond as the v.s. had hoped and prayed. It is humbling to accept this turn of events.

For example, perhaps a victim soul has to take a tough stand on some issue, and others in authority do not approve--or maybe some approve and some don't, and the v.s. is kindly (or not so kindly) lectured, or judged, and the v.s. cannot defend himself, or should not. This is another one of those victim soul rules: do not defend or try to be appreciated.

These examples provide a glimpse of the humility required of a victim soul. The Litany of Humility, penned via inspiration by Cardinal Merry del Valles, is worthy of memorization. Consider this litany the bullet-proof vest that every victim soul should wear on his chest (or breast). Consider, also, adding personalized lines for whatever occasion presents.

I have today added in my mind, "From the fear of weeping and not knowing the motivation of the tears, deliver me, Jesus" and "From the fear of opening up completely to whatever work God wants of me, deliver me, Jesus." But really, the lines set forth by the Cardinal encompass any occasion or situation.

Also, today, I am going to memorize another three lines. Since I have not established any great self-abnegations or holy soul acquisitions for Lent, yet, I write the key words on my wrist in order to instill these guidelines for humility. So far I read "esteemed, loved, extolled, honored, praised, preferred to others" as in, "from the desire of...deliver me, Jesus." A victim soul enacts what will help, no matter the humiliation.



Litany of Humility

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930),
Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

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 ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

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…




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