Every time I visit Rome (and I have to say, it’s becoming a rather pleasant habit!), I make a point of “popping” to the Vatican. Of course, I’ve done all the tours in the past, to the top of the dome and down to the crypt, gazed in wonder at The Sistene Chapel and touched the foot of St Peter’s statue.
On my most recent visit, there were just a couple of things I decided to see again…
One is the glass coffin of Pope John XXIII.
And here’s the reason why…
Pope John XXIII wrote a wonderful piece on staying present and serene as all around is pressure, responsibility, “must do” stuff.
In fact, his “Ten Commandments of Serenity” contain more advice for busy people than 100 books on the subject. Have a look, and see which you feel is most appropriate to you, just for today…
The Ten Commandments of Serenity
1. Just for today, I will concern myself to live today to the full, without seeking to solve my life’s problems all at once.
2. Just for today, I will take the greatest care in my undertakings, especially in my behaviour. I will criticise nobody, I will not strive to correct or improve anyone else but myself.
3. Just for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I am created to enjoy happiness, not only in the next world, but also in this world.
4. Just for today, I will adapt myself to my circumstances, without demanding that my circumstances should adapt themselves to my wishes.
5. Just for today, I will devote ten minutes to good reading; as nourishment is essential for the life of the body, good reading is essential for the life of the soul.
6. Just for today, I will carry out a good deed and will tell no one of it.
7. Just for today, I will do one thing that I didn’t want to do; and if I have been offended or insulted, I will see to it that nobody notices it.
8. Just for today, I will draw up a strict plan. Perhaps I will not keep to it exactly, but I will draw it up; and I will beware of two evils; the mad rush and the indecision.
9. Just for today, I will believe firmly, even if circumstances point to the contrary, that the gracious providence of God, is concerned about me as if nothing else on Earth existed.
10. Just for today, I will have no fear. Especially, I will not be afraid to rejoice in all that is beautiful and to believe in goodness. It has been given to me to bring goodness about for twelve hours at a time, which shall not discourage me, as if I thought that I had to do it for the rest of my life.
Pope John XXIII