From the desk of Fr Stephen
I am sure we have all heard the Serenity Prayer before. The Serenity Prayer is often recited at an AA meeting or in other addiction groups. It goes like this, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.” This prayer is said to free the person from having to be in control of everything all the time. Usually, the only person we can control is ourselves. This is what often gets people in trouble. We are bound and determined to control everything and everybody, but this usually doesn’t work. It is a lot of work trying to be in control of everything. It is exhausting, and therefore, many resort to addictive behaviors to gain the peace they can. It is a vicious cycle.
I capitalized the word wisdom earlier because I wanted to draw attention to this word. The readings today talk about wisdom. I guess we would all like to be wise and not make mistakes, but this is where wisdom comes from (i.e., making mistakes.) After we have made enough mistakes, it usually dawns on us to change what we are doing. This is the process of attaining wisdom and that is why the elderly are wiser than the young; they have made more mistakes and have learned the proper way of acting so they don’t make the same mistakes again.
Every succeeding generation, though, thinks they have the market on wisdom. The young should listen to the old because they have a lot to say and could help them not make the same mistakes. Each younger generation needs to learn for themselves the heartaches of life, and consequently, much of the suffering that goes along with it. Elders scratch their heads saying, “Why don’t they listen?” But they probably didn’t listen either when they were young.
If these things can be said about our lives in general, they can also be said about our Spiritual Lives. Every person needs to learn for themselves how to approach their relationship with God. Much has been written down through the centuries about the Spiritual Life with God, but unless a person is humble enough to listen, wisdom is lost.
I have spent the last 40 years reading, meditating, and praying – thousands of hours more than the average person. It is my profession, but rarely have I been asked by anyone how to pray to God. I think I have a lot to say about Spiritual Life but cannot force it on anyone. The wisdom here for me is to “let go and let God” do the talking and inspiring because a person looking for wisdom cannot afford to listen to anyone but God Himself.
May the Spirit of God rest upon all who humble themselves before him.