17th Century Nun’s Prayer
Lord, thou knowest 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 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 Thou
knowest Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
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 love of
rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. 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 cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the
memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be
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.
- contributed by Judy Biggs
Portrait of 17th Century Nun, Sister Juana
Ines de la Cruz, by Andrés de Islas.
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