Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Thursday 18 July |
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Litany for a burnt-out soul

Tired depressed sad Woman with hair

fizkes I Shutterstock

Sarah Robsdottir - published on 12/10/22

When I try to escape my feelings,
When my body holds my stress,
When I'm under pressure,
When I am filled with anger ...

I recently sought the advice of a friend who also happens to be a priest. I described some frustrating habits and thought patterns I’d fallen into — things that aren’t necessarily sinful but aren’t beneficial either. 

Now these kinds of conversations are obviously meant to be private. So instead of describing my frustrating habits, I’ll share the prayer he suggested as a remedy instead. I found this litany so “spot-on,” I wondered for a second if my priest had been spying on me. But very quickly, I gave credit where credit’s due — to the Holy Spirit.

The complete prayer is titled Litany of the Closed Heart, but I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it easier to memorize:

Litany for a burnt-out soul

by (abridged)

When I’m withdrawn, Lord, have mercy.
When I’m consumed with worry, Lord…
When I numb out, 
When I feel cynical,
When I’ve lost trust,
When I’m distracted,
When I try to escape my feelings,
When my body holds my stress,
When I’m under pressure,
When I am filled with anger,
When I become obsessed with tasks,
When I feel the urge to act out,
When I feel ashamed,
When I feel unforgiven,

Jesus, I know you love me in all my wounds, 
Lord, have mercy. 

Jesus, you created me in love, Hold me in your arms. 
Jesus, you created me for love, Hold me…
Jesus, you created me to be loved…
Jesus, you created my heart…
Jesus, you see my soul…
Jesus, you know my true self…
Jesus, you treasure me…
Jesus, you encourage me…
Jesus, you created me as your beloved…
Hold me in your arms.


*  *  *  

I suggest writing this litany out on an index card and taping it to the side of your computer monitor for moments when you’re tempted to numb your emotions by wasting too much time on social media — whoops, I said I’d spare you the specifics of my own burnt-out soul. But it’s a detail this litany is helping to remedy, so I’ll make an exception. 


A guide to the Litanies is available as a PDF as well as PDF versions of the Litanies (in Spanish and English) and audio versions. Also people can order high quality paper versions. Here’s the website link: 

PrayerPrayers for a Particular Need
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.