The Wisdom to Know the Difference

by Jim Manney

America blogger Valerie Schultz is a volunteer in a prison, where she often prays the “Serenity Prayer” with inmates in 12-step groups: 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. The key for her is the last six words of that prayer:

I got it. I’d believed I could change a negative situation, and had tried to act courageously, which succeeded only in fracturing the family, and alienating me from some other family members. But I have lacked that precious wisdom: running with courage full-force into a reality that actually requires acceptance has been a bad idea.  I have not known the difference. Which explains why serenity has eluded me.

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Jim Manney

Senior Editor at Loyola Press
Jim Manney is a popular writer on Ignatian topics (God Finds Us, A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer) as well as the editor of many books on Ignatian spirituality, including What Is Ignatian Spirituality? He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Latest posts by Jim Manney (see all)

October 6, 2011

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