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The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer

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The Fox News regular, leading voice of The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM radio, and author of The Promise and God Wants You Happy reveals how the Serenity Prayer offers the secret to peace and fulfillment for everyone, not just those in recovery programs. Through his books and media appearances, Father Jonathan Morris has inspired countless souls across the United States an The Fox News regular, leading voice of The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM radio, and author of The Promise and God Wants You Happy reveals how the Serenity Prayer offers the secret to peace and fulfillment for everyone, not just those in recovery programs. Through his books and media appearances, Father Jonathan Morris has inspired countless souls across the United States and the world to achieve a better understanding of God’s great work, and the hope, healing, and happiness he brings us if we open our hearts. Now, in The Way of Serenity, Father Morris focuses on a powerful meditation that is too often overlooked by those outside of the recovery community: The Serenity Prayer. Lord, 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. Exploring the prayer phrase by phrase, he reveals the hope that can be found by gaining a deeper spiritual understanding of its words and by practicing its message. Enlightening and profound, The Way of Serenity includes moving narratives, illuminating historical anecdotes, and biblical passages which demonstrate the healing power of the Serenity Prayer to help us find enlightenment, contentment, and peace in our daily lives.


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The Fox News regular, leading voice of The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM radio, and author of The Promise and God Wants You Happy reveals how the Serenity Prayer offers the secret to peace and fulfillment for everyone, not just those in recovery programs. Through his books and media appearances, Father Jonathan Morris has inspired countless souls across the United States an The Fox News regular, leading voice of The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM radio, and author of The Promise and God Wants You Happy reveals how the Serenity Prayer offers the secret to peace and fulfillment for everyone, not just those in recovery programs. Through his books and media appearances, Father Jonathan Morris has inspired countless souls across the United States and the world to achieve a better understanding of God’s great work, and the hope, healing, and happiness he brings us if we open our hearts. Now, in The Way of Serenity, Father Morris focuses on a powerful meditation that is too often overlooked by those outside of the recovery community: The Serenity Prayer. Lord, 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. Exploring the prayer phrase by phrase, he reveals the hope that can be found by gaining a deeper spiritual understanding of its words and by practicing its message. Enlightening and profound, The Way of Serenity includes moving narratives, illuminating historical anecdotes, and biblical passages which demonstrate the healing power of the Serenity Prayer to help us find enlightenment, contentment, and peace in our daily lives.

30 review for The Way of Serenity: Finding Peace and Happiness in the Serenity Prayer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marillyn Kelemen

    This book has beyond helpful. We lost our son 7 years ago to alcoholism and since then I've struggled with grief, pain, guilt and anger. Although being very familiar with The Serenity Prayer, I've never taken it apart and actually applied it to my life. I've copied many of Father Morris's prayers at the end of the chapters onto small cards and I carry them with me. Questioning God and the taking of our son has been an ongoing struggle. While reading the book, I began to feel relieved, unburdened This book has beyond helpful. We lost our son 7 years ago to alcoholism and since then I've struggled with grief, pain, guilt and anger. Although being very familiar with The Serenity Prayer, I've never taken it apart and actually applied it to my life. I've copied many of Father Morris's prayers at the end of the chapters onto small cards and I carry them with me. Questioning God and the taking of our son has been an ongoing struggle. While reading the book, I began to feel relieved, unburdened and refreshed. Thank you, Father Morris, for this wonderful gift.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Guzman

    I read this book slowly as a devotional. I savored the wisdom of this book and my soul loved it. Such simplicity of this short but profound prayer. It is one of those books you can go back and read again and get something different from it depending on where you are spiritually.Highly recommend to those of a spiritual persuasion.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lee Harmon

    Lord, 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. Repeated by millions worldwide, this simple prayer has transformative power. Father Morris first began to contemplate its healing power when he found himself sitting in an open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and hearing it shared aloud. Says Morris, “It was the purest and most genuine act of self-abandonment to God’s will I had ever witnessed. Their prayer Lord, 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. Repeated by millions worldwide, this simple prayer has transformative power. Father Morris first began to contemplate its healing power when he found himself sitting in an open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and hearing it shared aloud. Says Morris, “It was the purest and most genuine act of self-abandonment to God’s will I had ever witnessed. Their prayer wasn’t especially pretty, or clean; it was real, and gritty. It was the opposite of religious showmanship; it was intimate, existential, and wholly indifferent to any outsider’s praise or reproach. It was prayer, plain and simple.” So he broke the simple prayer into its three parts and wrote a three-part book. It is a Catholic perspective, but without heavy-handed religion; just inspirational encouragement and practice suggestions to develop our serenity, courage, and wisdom. You can guess the first suggestion we should put into practice: Pray this little prayer every day. Serenity arises partly from knowing that we have done all we can and the rest is up to God. The “problem of evil” can be daunting. Why are their earthquakes, floods, birth defects, terrible diseases and calamities if God loves us? The only satisfying explanation is that God is able to turn evil on its head and bring good out of it. Courage, too, arises from faith in God. Have you ever noticed how many of Jesus’s parables have to do with getting out and doing something–and how displeased he seems when we fail to act? Doing good is, in essence, the meaning of Christianity. Our purpose is to change the world around us, and the first to change must be us. But the hardest part of the prayer may be the last part. The wisdom to know what to change and what to accept. Morris encourages us to listen to the whispers of God. This is a book that can make a difference, one day at a time. Harper One, © 2014, 231 pages ISBN: 978-1-06-211913-1

  4. 5 out of 5

    Patti Armstrong

    The beautiful thing about this book is that it crosses denominational lines with truth and inspiration. Fr. Johnathan touches hearts and minds with clear logic and Divine encouragement.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Loved this book- was very helpful during a very tough and painful time in my life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Outstanding! Brilliant! I'd give this 6 stars if I could. Although written by a Catholic priest, this book would be helpful to not only non-Catholic Christians, but even to non-Christians. Short, easy to read chapters all containing much depth. This is more of a workbook for practical living and decision making than just a book to read. It uses contemporary examples relatable to the modern world. Not being familiar with the author previously, I looked him up and was surprised to see how young he Outstanding! Brilliant! I'd give this 6 stars if I could. Although written by a Catholic priest, this book would be helpful to not only non-Catholic Christians, but even to non-Christians. Short, easy to read chapters all containing much depth. This is more of a workbook for practical living and decision making than just a book to read. It uses contemporary examples relatable to the modern world. Not being familiar with the author previously, I looked him up and was surprised to see how young he is. His wisdom is way beyond his years. No matter your beliefs or lack thereof, if you are a human being I don't see how this book couldn't help you too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jim Keating

    I loved the book. Could really be a reference in decision making. Used the famous serenity prayer as a model and developed topics around the theme. Stimulated prayer and discernment. It would be great as a tool for younger folks for making life decisions.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Sprunger

    When someone gives you a book, you read it. That explains why I read this. Father Morris is apparently a prominent Fox News contributor. I've got to admit this piqued my curiosity. For one, Christians pledge an oath to righteousness while Fox News is the standard bearer for American conservatism - the social arm of which (if not both the social and the fiscal arms) represents steadfastly the forces of evil. I was curious to see if Father Morris was to be a voice of conscience or a shill, aiding When someone gives you a book, you read it. That explains why I read this. Father Morris is apparently a prominent Fox News contributor. I've got to admit this piqued my curiosity. For one, Christians pledge an oath to righteousness while Fox News is the standard bearer for American conservatism - the social arm of which (if not both the social and the fiscal arms) represents steadfastly the forces of evil. I was curious to see if Father Morris was to be a voice of conscience or a shill, aiding and abetting the enemy. At the risk of slandering a man of the cloth, I fear it is the latter. But, secondly, I've been attracted to the simplicity and profundity of the serenity prayer for years now, even before actively reevaluating my position on the spirit. It's a ubiquitous Christian koan (suitable for non-Christians as well) that changes over one's life, even in the relatively brief period of a decade or so. I've also been interested in Christian theology and wanted to sample the fare promoted to "average" (non-theologian) Christian readers. I figured a Fox News commentator (with blurbs by other Fox News talking (snarling?) heads emblazoning the dust jacket) wouldn't exactly be swinging for the fences with his exploration of the topic - and I could thus experience an example of populist Christian writing. Finally, as a person sympathetic to the Lectionary, a professional clergy, and a formal "high church" approach to man's spiritual interests I thought a Catholic priest would dig a little deeper into the profundity of the deceptively quaint prayer - even if the theology was dialed down for the masses. (And, returning to the matter of Morris's Fox News celebrity, I am surprised he has the ear of the conservative American hinterland. It wasn't that long ago in my native Birmingham when a Methodist lay minister was acquitted of gunning down a Catholic parish priest on the steps of his church for performing a wedding between a white woman and a Latino man. I thought an observable portion of Protestants still think of "papists" as Anti-Christ.) I was let down on each and every point. That said, no one can write 228 pages and not make a single salient point. Father Morris (undoubtedly a thoughtful man and possessing of many valuable concepts and observations) sprinkles a few grains of wisdom into the pile. But they are very few and come very late into the book. I see who this book is written and marketed to - and honestly, nothing in it is categorically wrongheaded ( except maybe the Church's own doctrines on social issues that I can hardly blame a single member of the clergy for) or dangerous - but my hopes for the Good Reads community are lofty. This is not a deeply reflective book for lively readers. I can recommend it to my grandmother, perhaps, but not to anyone here.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Decamp

    I loved this book. Most everyone knows the Serenity Prayer and Father Morris breaks it down for you. If you are struggling with finding peace and happiness, this is a great book to lift you up and give you strength. This just isn't for people who believe in God. Anyone who is looking for strength, is going through difficulties, is looking for meaning or a way to find peace in their life need to read this book. I love the prayers at the end of each chapter! I downloaded this book on my Kindle but I loved this book. Most everyone knows the Serenity Prayer and Father Morris breaks it down for you. If you are struggling with finding peace and happiness, this is a great book to lift you up and give you strength. This just isn't for people who believe in God. Anyone who is looking for strength, is going through difficulties, is looking for meaning or a way to find peace in their life need to read this book. I love the prayers at the end of each chapter! I downloaded this book on my Kindle but will now buy the hard copy just to be able to look through it when I need uplifting words of encouragement! Highly recommend this!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Father Morris has written his suggestions for us to realize the importance of the Serenity Prayer. As humans we are often consumed with anxiety and stress. He has many practical ideas on how to focus on this simple prayer which will lead us to a more spiritual understanding. Very readable. Great book to re-read for a peaceful mind and many short prayers.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Esperanza

    Great very good reading I truly recommended to get it very inspirational and a good way to grow in the faith

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I can't remember how this book made it onto my "to read" list, but I'm very glad it did! Thank you to whoever recommended it! This book is now on my "read every year" list. Today, Sunday afternoon, I sat down and read through this book. It touched my soul in a deep and meaningful way. Every chapter shared truths that prompted me to examine my life and ask God to give me greater acceptance, courage and wisdom. I recommend this book for anyone who's curious about the Serenity Prayer, wants to learn I can't remember how this book made it onto my "to read" list, but I'm very glad it did! Thank you to whoever recommended it! This book is now on my "read every year" list. Today, Sunday afternoon, I sat down and read through this book. It touched my soul in a deep and meaningful way. Every chapter shared truths that prompted me to examine my life and ask God to give me greater acceptance, courage and wisdom. I recommend this book for anyone who's curious about the Serenity Prayer, wants to learn more about living for God, faces a personal challenge or desires a stronger faith. Father Jonathan has a way of explaining deep and challenging topics in an easy-to-understand way. The short chapters and plentiful anecdotes make the book easy to read, too. Grab a highlighter - you'll want to make notes!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Pat Rea

    A practical and relevant guide This book highlights a recipe for true happiness ; a platform for spiritual growth that is practical . The author uses examples from real life as a means to illustrate his points. It is thorough in exploring the Serenity prayer as one of the most efficient means of living your life for both your own happiness here on earth, and for all eternity. It is well written in a style that makes you want to read it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen Briscoe

    The Serenity Prayer is the means by which the author shares how prayer can change your life. Lord, 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 one prayer has impacted countless lives and this book through powerful stories, historical anecdotes, and biblical passages shows God's plan for one's life. Karen Briscoe, author and podcast "5 Minute Success" The Serenity Prayer is the means by which the author shares how prayer can change your life. Lord, 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 one prayer has impacted countless lives and this book through powerful stories, historical anecdotes, and biblical passages shows God's plan for one's life. Karen Briscoe, author and podcast "5 Minute Success"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne Wise

    When I first began this journey toward serenity, I sat down to read this book all at once - well maybe over the course of a week. What I discovered quickly was that I wanted to read a chapter a day (well mostly) so that I could reflect and meditate on all of the spiritual lessons. Not to say this is a difficult book to read - not at all. It's just thought-provoking and I enjoyed it more on a slow burner. When I first began this journey toward serenity, I sat down to read this book all at once - well maybe over the course of a week. What I discovered quickly was that I wanted to read a chapter a day (well mostly) so that I could reflect and meditate on all of the spiritual lessons. Not to say this is a difficult book to read - not at all. It's just thought-provoking and I enjoyed it more on a slow burner.

  16. 4 out of 5

    l

    This is a wonderful book! I was a bit reluctant to get it since I'm not Catholic nor have I ever had an addiction problem, but Father Morris writes a Christian inspirational book that is for everyone on the planet. I love his view of life and now I want to read more books by him. He's a terrific writer who makes you want to turn the page to find out what else is there. He inspires me. This is a wonderful book! I was a bit reluctant to get it since I'm not Catholic nor have I ever had an addiction problem, but Father Morris writes a Christian inspirational book that is for everyone on the planet. I love his view of life and now I want to read more books by him. He's a terrific writer who makes you want to turn the page to find out what else is there. He inspires me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Colby

    I loved all his examples and tie-ins to movies and books I love. You can't go wrong with What About Bob or Sound of music. This book is a nice balance between interesting, easy to read, and thought provoking. I fully agreed with his perspective and points. Well worth your time if you are looking for more of a "devotional" type read. I loved all his examples and tie-ins to movies and books I love. You can't go wrong with What About Bob or Sound of music. This book is a nice balance between interesting, easy to read, and thought provoking. I fully agreed with his perspective and points. Well worth your time if you are looking for more of a "devotional" type read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Things to think about I found this a very good book with lots of things to think about. The choices of what we can change and what we need to leave to God. I read a chapter each day as part of my daily prayer and glad that I did.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Krylowicz

    I have prayed the serenity prayer daily for 3 months now. The prayer has greatly helped me live life. Jonathan Morris makes it very easy to understand the power of this prayer and how anyone can work on living with peace love and serenity.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emerson John Tiu Ng

    This book of Fr. Jonathan Morris is a must read book, the book perfectly describe how one can achieve serenity

  21. 4 out of 5

    Louise Molinar

    Awesome read! I've given this book as a gift, and I would read and re-read this book. Awesome read! I've given this book as a gift, and I would read and re-read this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sandy Freer

    A series of vignettes/short chapters designed to get you to calm your restless mind and reflect. A great bedside book...would read 1 section before bed each night. I really liked it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kilner

    Amazing This is a wonderful, we’ll-written book. It is a must read for all Christians. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good spiritual reading!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diana Rene

    Uplifting. A must read if you want to stop reading self help books and start getting help from Christ.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    A good reminder book to read during stressful times.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steve Li

    First, I like Jonathon Morris and I got this book and I have been searching for more serenity, peace and happiness. However, it is not a 'how too' book...that is, unless you are someone of very strong faith, you will not be able to better discern what you should accept as those things that can't be changed and what you should try and change...for instance (political partisanship aside), who would've thought you could get health insurance without paying for it, who thought we could go to the moon First, I like Jonathon Morris and I got this book and I have been searching for more serenity, peace and happiness. However, it is not a 'how too' book...that is, unless you are someone of very strong faith, you will not be able to better discern what you should accept as those things that can't be changed and what you should try and change...for instance (political partisanship aside), who would've thought you could get health insurance without paying for it, who thought we could go to the moon, who thought we could find the cures to the many diseases we have..cell phones and internet in the most far away places you can imagine and so on. I'm glad that there were people that simply that did not accept that we could not make these achievements. Also, who among us didn't have a really good plan only to see it go awry for unforeseeable reasons - should we have been 'wise' enough to know that we were trying something that couldn't be changed? There are those that limit the scope of the prayer to personal issues - that is know what you should accept about yourself and what you should change...however, my same questions apply. Have we not seen amazing changes in people over time? The 'bad' youth who become 'good' later in life and the other way around? However, I am unaware of any intended limitations to what the prayer itself is meant to encompass. In short, there did not seem to be a reconciling of the Serenity Prayer with the notion of 'you don't know until you try'... I'm not knocking the book (though it seems like it I'm sure - but I gave it 4 stars) but I felt that the book would be much more comforting and helpful, if you already have a strong faith in god...because the main message of the book is that the way to serenity, peace and happiness is to trust and believe in god...which is a great message - if you are not a strong believer. If you are seeking faith, then you might not find the book as satisfying. If anyone reads this review, I'm not trying to start any kind of fight or argument...in fact, I'm envious if this book showed you the way to serenity....I'm glad I read it, I just wanted to express my thoughts...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Sheridan

    Although I was slightly skeptical at first, this book shared with me extremely valuable wisdom about how to live well in relation to God and others, especially conquering enemy#1 - myself. Praise be Jesus Christ.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pam Cipkowski

    "Lord, 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." We've all seen this on little pillows and posters and Facebook postings, and because of that, it's something I usually dismissed as a commercialized little devotion. But I was attracted to the book because it was written by a well-known Catholic priest who was sharing his thoughts on the power of this prayer. The principle elements of the Serenity Prayer "Lord, 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." We've all seen this on little pillows and posters and Facebook postings, and because of that, it's something I usually dismissed as a commercialized little devotion. But I was attracted to the book because it was written by a well-known Catholic priest who was sharing his thoughts on the power of this prayer. The principle elements of the Serenity Prayer are so simple and easy to understand, which lends itself to a lot of discussion. And Fr. Jonathan does indeed share a lot of discussion on it. You could probably rearrange quite a few of the chapters, and it would have read no differently to me, so I viewed it as a series of little vignettes, and read it in bits and pieces. But this may be the best way to read it, because, as Fr. Jonathan explains, "[God] feeds us truth in bite sizes, and even as we are processing it some of it sticks to our spiritual bones and becomes part of who we are. Without realizing it, we begin to think and judge differently." It's worth a read, if only to become more mindful and prayerful of those parts of our lives where we are seeking change, and in coming to terms with how our lives have proceeded thus far.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Father Jonathan's insight into the Serenity Prayer is easy to follow, and very enlightening. Even when I don't agree with him on certain points of our faith (notably, homosexual marriage) we come out agreeing on how to approach both those we agree with and those we do not agree with- with love and patience. There are a great number of people that I feel I should share this book with on that merit alone. Aside from that, however, I was left disappointed by the way that this book plays only to neu Father Jonathan's insight into the Serenity Prayer is easy to follow, and very enlightening. Even when I don't agree with him on certain points of our faith (notably, homosexual marriage) we come out agreeing on how to approach both those we agree with and those we do not agree with- with love and patience. There are a great number of people that I feel I should share this book with on that merit alone. Aside from that, however, I was left disappointed by the way that this book plays only to neurotypical people. There is a great number of times that 'anxiety' is mentioned as it is experienced by the average person, but no insight into how this would translate for someone with chronic anxiety. The one time a mental disorder is mentioned (specifically, bipolar disorder, even though the correct term is manic-depressive disorder) it is in a pitying manner in which all of the moral impetus is on the neurotypical husband 'taking care' of his wife. There is no mention of how those of us with mental disabilities uphold our own moral dignities and take control of our own spiritual lives. The readers of this book are automatically assumed to be 'normal'. Which is not to say that this is particularly Father Jonathan's fault- this is a fault in Christian theology as a whole, and should be addressed going in to any new works, and just happened to be glaringly obvious in this one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melissa I

    by Jonathan Morris I lost my entire review when I switched tabs to get the Amazon link :'( I do that 'all' the time. Will redo asap. Wonderful book for now..... Amazon purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Serenity-Fi... Publisher: HarperOne Pages: 231 by Jonathan Morris I lost my entire review when I switched tabs to get the Amazon link :'( I do that 'all' the time. Will redo asap. Wonderful book for now..... Amazon purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Serenity-Fi... Publisher: HarperOne Pages: 231

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