Have you ever taken a few moments to examine your own life and said, “Lord, the older I get the more (fill in the blank) I become, and I don’t like it one bit!” Well, I sure have. And I must not be the only one. A few years ago I came upon a beautiful prayer written by a seventeenth-century nun whose identity is unknown. I find the prayer to be so inspiring I wanted to share it with you. If it touches your heart in any way, we can both praise God for the heartfelt words of an anonymous nun.
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from getting talkative, particularly 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 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.
I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Seal my lips on my own aches and pains -they are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. Help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that 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, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
*This Prayer of an Aging Woman was taken from Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, & Quotes. Morgan, Robert J.Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nashville, Tennessee. 2000