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Good News and Bad News

Good News and Bad News
I was born on March 25, but I was not born on the feast of the Annunciation.  When I tell people that, they usually respond with a puzzled expression.  The fact is that in 1951, March 25 was Easter Sunday.  

One of my friends, John Taddy, as born on the exact same day that I was.  We were often in the same classroom in grade school, but our paths diverged when I left home for the minor seminary after 8th grade.  I have been a priest now for almost 37 years; John, on the other hand, was killed while he was in high school.  I don't remember the details, but I think it was a freak wrestling accident that took his life.  

In our lifetimes, we rejoice in good news but are frequently faced with bad news.  Particularly in times of hardship, we may find it difficult to discern the path God lays out for us and to say with all sincerity, "may it be done to be according to your word."  

I am reminded of the "Serenity Prayer" of Reinhold Niebuhr of which we usually see only the first few lines.  Here is the longer version:

God, give me 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.

(Fr. John Eaton, O.F.M., Spiritual Advisor of EGL 4)
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