Father Jonathan Morris, a Catholic Priest in the Archdiocese of New York, beautifully examines, contemplates, prays and explains the ever popular “Serenity Prayer” in his book The Way of Serenity. Father Jonathan encourages us to pray it daily and even hourly and even sometimes minute by minute- and with good reason!
Father Jonathan explains the importance of this practice. “…I would remind you once again to be praying it every day, even several times a day, as you come along with me on this journey toward the peace and joy God wants for you. Praying the Serenity Prayer is a habit that will stay with you for life.”
The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer reminds us that “Growing in spiritual knowledge without also growing in practical, living faith is treacherous for the soul-it has a way of dulling the conscience and hardening the heart.” Father Jonathan uses many personal examples as well as stories from family and friends that make this important point! Treacherous, indeed!
“Have you ever had a minister or a priest who knew all the right answers and knew the Bible cover to cover, but treated people badly? It can happen to any one of us, clergy or laity. We can read piles of spiritual books, study the Bible, and go to church, but never come to a deep, personal relationship with Jesus that transforms our lives.” The remedy? Praying and living the Serenity Prayer!
Some of the stories that Father Jonathan shares are deeply personal, which of course makes them so deeply moving. He does not just talk about how to live the Serenity Prayer- he shares how he lives it. The story he shares about his sister (with her permission) shows that no matter what situation Christ brings to us, we are to respond with serenity as Christ did.
I confess that I already pray the Serenity Prayer daily, hourly and sometimes more, yet I was drawn to pick up Father Jonathan’s book and I am glad that I did because he gave a deeper meaning to praying the Serenity Prayer and living the Serenity Prayer.
As Father Jonathan says “ Pray, pray, pray. This is the way to read this book.”