I found this pasted on to the last page of one of my Mother’s old Missels and so liked it that I am sending it on to you:“Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old.
Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
Keep my mind from the recital of endless details - give me wings to get to the point.
I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Help me to endure them with patience.
But seal my lips on my own aches and pains - they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the days go by. 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 person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
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.”
A well known prayer written by a 17th century nun.