During his recent Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia, Pope Francis advised, “A bit of good humour is very good for us! It will do us much good to pray St Thomas More’s prayer frequently: I pray it every day, and it helps me.”

I’m a great devotee of St Thomas More, but I’d never heard of this prayer. Here is the text:

Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest.

Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humour to maintain it.

Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.

Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments, nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.”

Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humour. Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy, and to be able to share it with others.