Friday, 12 April 2013

A Prayer on Growing Old

Oh Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out somebody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful; but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all. but Thou knowest Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips upon my aches and pains. They are increasing and the love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory but for a growing humility and not a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. 

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint - some of them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is the crowning work of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And give me, Lord, the grace to tell them so. 

                                                                                                   A Nun's Prayer C17th