I am approaching a milestone birthday, moving from one decade to the next. And I am fretting about getting old.
I came across this prayer (from the Charter for Compassion website). It doesn’t necessarily help me with my fretting but it does offer some excellent food for thought. Which I will do my best to remember. And which I promise to share with Sweetie.
Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old.
Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity. Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs.
With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity to not let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends. Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. …
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy.
Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen”
~Margot Benary-Isbert (1889-1979), German-born children’s author known for her “depictions of humane, realistic characters