April 22, 2019
Dear Families and Friends of Trinity,
This weekend we recognized the celebration of Easter and Christ’s ultimate gift, providing eternal forgiveness for anyone who asks. On a personal note, I have acquired over the years that forgiveness is not about forgiving the other person, but is more about releasing me from the anxiety of the event. While it can be challenging to forgive, with practice, it does become easier over time. With forgiveness comes reconciliation with people, sometimes even with our family members, who can seem to have no remorse or idea of how hurtful their behavior has been.
The Serenity Prayer serves as a continuous reminder for me to have the courage to seek forgiveness and reconciliation when possible; the opening lines are as follows:
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
A popular Jesuit priest by the name of James Martin added a second verse to this prayer that is so apropos for me as a reminder to stay humble as I seek to practice forgiveness and work towards reconciliation within our families, and other close relationships.
“God, grant me the serenity
to accept the people I cannot change,
which is pretty much everyone,
since I’m clearly not you, God.
At least not the last time I checked.
And while you’re at it, God,
please give me the courage
to change what I need to change about myself,
which is frankly a lot, since, once again,
I’m not you, which means I’m not perfect.
It’s better for me to focus on changing myself
than to worry about changing other people,
who, as you’ll no doubt remember me saying,
I can’t change anyway.
Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up
whenever I think that I’m clearly smarter
than everyone else in the room,
that no one knows what they’re talking about except me,
or that I alone have all the answers.
Basically, God, grant me the wisdom
to remember that I’m not you.” Amen
With Warm Regards,
Mark J. Ravelli
Mark Ravelli / Head of School
Trinity Episcopal School
720 Tremont Street Galveston, TX 77550