Monday, June 11, 2007

A Monday morning reclamation project

Okay, as cliché as it might be, this Monday let's, as Michael Spencer, the internet monk, does in a fine post on marriage, reclaim the oft-maligned and lampooned Serenity Prayer. This reclamation project is undertaken by doing two simple things:
1) Not truncating the prayer after the first stanza
2) Acknowledging that the prayer was composed by Reinhold Niebuhr

So, this will count as my Neibuhr post, which falls far short of the wonderful Niebuhr posts that have appeared in recent days over on Deep Furrows.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

The end of the prayer puts me in mind of the beginning of the Baltimore Catechism, Part One, question 6:

Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

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