Getting Old{er}

Sometimes as we age we see the evidence of it in our faces, feel it in our bodies, but perhaps overlook it in our natures or characteristics. I like this piece of prose that brings me down to earth about that.

PRAYER IN OLD AGE
[Attributed to a Seventeenth Century Nun.]
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am getting older and will one day be old
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and every occasion.
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’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 you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind from the recital of endless details-give me wings to come to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter.
I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other’s pains, but help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksurerness 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 woman 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 the grace to tell them so.
{And may I say AMEN!}

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