I just ran across this in the process of cleaning out some files. Since the author is a 17th century anonymous nun, I figured she wouldn’t mind if I shared it.
Prayer for the Chronologically Gifted
Lord, you know 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. Relieve 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 at all, but you know 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 enough grace to enjoy the tales of others’ pain, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for an improved memory that seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally 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. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people, and give me, Lord, the grace to tell them so.