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Serenity amid War and Peace

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a 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.


That version by another author is much longer than the Serenity Prayer written by American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. And it veers away from the usual tripartite form. It has more reference to Our Lord Jesus Christ-- albeit without explicitly mentioning His name.

My counselor, Ms. Anita Pecson taught me that in life, if there is a bad pattern forming then address it the soonest. Uproot it, not just nip it at the bud, otherwise, it will be your impending demise. We are the Captain of our ship, let us change the course toward safe waters or the harbor, our home. This we can change. Moreover, we can control our emotions and mental faculties. Controling the world and others is a different story which we would discuss later on.

From the above-mentioned prayer, living one day at a time and enjoying one moment at a time:

In this school of life we never stop learning, yet we need not be overwhelmed by the future. Whenever we feel lugubrious about the state of our life now, fret not and give it a year. Remember from Kindergarten until the University it takes a year to go on to the next.

However it would be daunting, and bleak, and Eeyorish to focus on numerous years. Most-often-than-not we are asked, “What or where would you like to be twenty years from now?” Two decades… See? Simply put, it is an overload.

On the contrary, we may give it a month, or give it a week, or give it a day, or give it an hour, or basically, give it a moment. That, my friend, is a life well-spent and well-lived. Why? Because if we live in the moment and we are joyful, then time is still. Even if time flies nonetheless it no longer exist. And, if we look back we have happy memories and if we look ahead we have positive expectations.

Furthermore, again from the above-written prayer, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it:

In the coming Holy Week, this is all the more poignant and worthwhile. Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered tremendously as depicted in the Stations of the Cross. From His sentence and up to Calvary, He showed us that we have to carry our own cross in life. No one is spared. We all have to fight battles, “hardship” because that is the only way. It is a challenging world. We cannot have it our way.

Providentially, Our Lord Jesus Christ takes care of us, He tends His sheep. Yes, we should like to trust that He will correct the mistakes. This is much more felt in the Sacrament of Confession. He forgives our sins. He is reconciled with us. We only have to receive it.

Then, we look forward to Easter! He conquered death. After three days, He resurrected. We have every reason to be elated and jubilant. There is Hope so we should have to be firm with our Faith in Him.

Similarly, there was once a story about a nephew and his uncle. In the forest, they would catch insects-- all kinds --but the nephew particularly liked dragonflies. It is easy to catch. But, they were separated for a long time. One day he sent him a message, the nephew wrote, let’s catch dragonflies. The uncle exclaimed, you remembered!

Unfortunately, there was a tragic accident. The nephew died. That night his uncle saw him in a dream as he was like when he was a little boy. The uncle sent him a message, let’s catch dragonflies. And the nephew replied, yes in heaven. Dragonflies signify self-realization, adaptability, and transformation.

It is a self-realization that we need mental and emotional maturity in order to understand the deeper meaning of life. Serenity in the worst of times and the best of times from here to eternity.

Adaptability-- letting go of the small stuff --is something we should learn and master. Letting go and letting God i.e. surrendering to God’s Will.

Thus, it is a spiritual transformation. From uncertainty to stability; serenity first, courage next, and, finally, wisdom. The Serenity Prayer deconstructed.

“That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.”


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