A 17th century nun’s prayer (supposedly, but it sure seems unlikely. But let’s pretend it’s real and ponder it on this lovely Sunday. Susie, thanks for sending me the first bit. Here’s the entire thing and my notes are in blue italics.)
Lord thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. But I am a blogger, and opinionated to boot, and I can’t help myself.
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 thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end. My friends know what a bossy & opinionated bitch I am and love me anyway–or they aren’t my friends.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details, give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and the lover 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. As my friends know, I am always there to hear their aches and pains because I know that one day it’ll be my turn and I’ll need a comforting ear and hand
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 I may be mistaken. Hmm. Mistaken? Me? This is a hard one, and if you think it’s hard for me, you ought meet my husband.
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. I believe with all my heart in acknowledging people for their gifts. We don’t do enough of that and I try to do it as much as possible.