08Nov A new prayer for serenity is offered for all

God, grant me the serenity

to accept the people I cannot change,

which is pretty much everyone,

since I’m clearly not you, God.

At least not the last time I checked.


And while you’re at it, God, …

please give me the courage

to change what I need to change about myself,

which is frankly a lot, since, once again,

I’m not you, which means I’m not perfect.

It’s better for me to focus on changing myself

than to worry about changing other people,

who, as you’ll no doubt remember me saying,

I can’t change anyway.


Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up

whenever I think that I’m clearly smarter

than everyone else in the room,

that no one knows what they’re talking about except me,

or that I alone have all the answers.


Basically, God,

grant me the wisdom

to remember that I’m

not you.



8 Responses

  1. Eddie Finnegan

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but that’s certainly shut me up. 🙁

  2. Joe O'Leary


  3. Kevin

    So the Catholic Church, i.e. the hierarchy, who are far from perfect and certainly not God, should just shut its big trap, stop interfering in everyone’s lives, telling them what to do and how to live. Cutting with the, “do as I say not as I do” HC.

    Best teaching out of the Vatican and advice for a peaceful life in the last five centuries. 😉

    With the blessing of a Jesuit to boot.

  4. Soline Humbert

    I still find Teresa’s piece more inspiring ….
    (Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

    Christ Has No Body

    Christ has no body but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks with
    Compassion on this world,
    Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
    Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
    Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
    Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
    Christ has no body now but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks with
    compassion on this world.
    Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

  5. Donal Dorr

    Thank you, Soline.

  6. Mary Wood

    I look at this prayer each day, and cannot escape the impression that it’s a very masculine prayer. Anyone else feel similarly?

  7. Ger Gleeson

    Fr Martin, if we follow the spirit of your prayer, we are giving our Church the kiss of death. Is that what you really want?

  8. Kevin

    I really liked Teresa of Avila too for many years. Then I read how her Christ eyes saw a special place in hell for Lutherans. Knowing a good Lutheran minister who is more convinced of transubstantiio than I ever was – I wonder why bother if he’s hell bound. I have no chance. And I do wonder that her visions, some at least, were not symptomatic of ‘brain fry’. Those fevers she would get.

    I asked a Cistercian I knew about that. “We’ll Luther does have much to answer for.”

    I do believe the Jesuit is right to a degree. We give way, way too much credence and power to others. So of course you may ignore this. 🙂

    It is a beautiful prayer though.

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