the Serenity Prayer

Serenity Prayer plaque
recently won by Yours Truly
in auction on eBay


God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

~Reinhold Niebuhr

for whatever reason, i always thought this was an ancient prayer. there seems to be a bit of a dispute over when, exactly, this was penned. because alcoholics can turn the most matter-of-fact issue into an art project, i thought i'd look this up and found some interesting things on the page:
"No one can tell for sure who first wrote the Serenity Prayer," writes Bill (W.) in A.A. Comes of Age. "Some say it came from the early Greeks; others think it was from the pen of an anonymous English poet; still others claim it was written by an American Naval officer... ." Other attributions have gone as far afield as ancient Sanskrit texts, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and Spinoza. One A.A. member came across the Roman philosopher Cicero's Six Mistakes of Man, one of which reads: "The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected." (emphasis, hyperlink added.)
another version of the prayer (there are many) is the one from Ireland, which i love, as well, and wanted to share:

God take and receive my liberty,
my memory, my understanding and will,
All that I am and have He has given me

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 in the next.

amen, indeed.

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