Someone who died local to me earlier this month and whose funeral I led was described as having a ‘wicked sense of humour.’ She was also someone who was in touch with her spiritual nature and sought to work on her integrity.
Amongst her papers was this prayer, handwritten and labelled: ‘Seventeenth Century Nun’s Prayer.’
I was touched by the insightful honesty of the prayer and the way in which it addresses, with a very sweet sense of humour, our conditioning – the work of the unhelpful ego – that many of us will recognise. Enjoy!
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 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, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
(Image courtesy of Crisada on Flikr Creative Commons)