A Prayer for Those of Us Who Are Aging

I found this 17th Century Prayer among the mementos my mother kept. Attributed to a 17th Century nun, I have adapted its language and some of its words and phrasing:

Photo: by Borya via Flick’r

PRAYER FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE AGING

Lord, You know me better than I know myself–that I am growing older and will some day be old.

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every occasion. Release me from the need to straighten out everyone’s affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody–helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a shame not to use it all, but you know, Lord, I would like to have a few friends at the end.

Keep me free from the endless recital of details–give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips when it comes to talking about my aches and pains. They are increasing and the love of rehashing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I don’t dare to ask to enjoy tales of the miseries of others, but do help me to listen to them patiently.

I won’t ask You for improved memory, but for a growing humility and less stubbornness when my memory clashes with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably sweet–not a Saint–some of them are hard to live with. A sour old personal is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the grace to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And remind me, Lord, to tell them so.

AMEN

I have been remiss in keeping up with this blog and this seemed to be to be a good way to jump in again. I think the prayer applies to all of us, not only those of us who have already arrived on the old end of the aging spectrum.

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