17th Century Nun’s Prayer
Lord, thou knowst better than I know myself, that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not busy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but thou knowst, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless detail; give me wings to get the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and 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 endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksuredness 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 one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
methinks I need to put this under my pillow and osmose it into every cell of my being… aho…