My God, the wear of years
reduces the sensitivity of my tastes,
quiets my ambitions, cools the fires of lust,
dims the brilliance of colors,
and softens the sharp intrusions
of the sensual world.

Please let my reluctant body acquiesce
in all this change, without futile rebellion or vain complaint.

But please let the fatigue of age not blunt or freight down the incendiary sharpening
of my inquisitive mind
or its adventurous trajectory.

Abet the spiritual cravings
of my unquiet spirit, as it ignores
gaudy distractions, and survives
bodily bonfires, winding ever inward
to the cool and quiet sanctuaries
that only a soul released from clay
can finally, completely, magisterially, achieve.

God, my Father, reach down to me, please,
as I reach up toward You, and as I move
into the final stanzas of my life.

Help me foreswear the fading past evermore,
to fix my sight firmly on eternal vistas.
Let me not dwell on my past faults
but on my possible future.

Were I called by You to heaven today,
how prepared would I be?

What ragged résumés and pallid credentials could I proffer to the flaming-sword guardians at Your heavenly portal?
Only through your boundless mercies
can I be deemed worthy of entrance there.

Let me grasp the clearly the ever-shortening span of days and the magnitude of preparation appropriate to the high calling of eternal salvation.

God, my God, clearly, now, the greater part of my life is behind me.

I have stitched my days together to make myself what I have made myself, and I must accept the past and what I have come to:
I cannot go back now, but only move forward.

However thin the accumulated merits
of my soul, I hope that in some small measure
I can be pleasing to Your eye.

I beg You, block my errant wanderings now
at every turn, and force Yourself upon me!
Please make my world-blinded eyes see You,
my over-amplified ears
hear You,
my distracted mind think of You,
and my footsteps find the path to You
that I may pass briskly past all temptation
and all distraction, and come finally
to my heavenly home, and to You!

Though I may be weak and fall back,
please do not give up on me!
Please do not let me go.

I find that with age, the simplest responsibilities of life
seem both more demanding
and less important to me now.
The grand pleasures of life seem less frequent, less alluring, less satisfying.

Yet I want to stay alive.
Make me attuned more vitally
to the eternal verities,
and to meeting the final challenges
of this world which You may give me.

Then, make me ready for a good departure
when the dusk of my sailing home arrives.

I feel an innate vitality that makes it impossible to believe that at my death
all consciousness of any kind could cease.

But if this were this the case,
what loss? For I would not know.

But I feel destined, determined, confident, thrilled by Your promise that there is more,
that there is a life beyond,
an infinite, unending eternity with You!

I do believe! Help Thou my unbelief!

I have lived life voraciously
but my soul remains restlessly unsatisfied.
I want more. I long for more.
I hope for more. I hunger for more!

All the pleasures and attractions
of the world fade because my soul knows
that yes, yes, yes, You do exist.
I have the strongest hope
of coming into Your company.

The vastness and the intricacy and the beauty of the world all speak to me of You,
with promises of exceedingly more wonderful vistas and more ravishing divine pleasures.

In the infinitude of the galaxies
and the grasses of spring
I sense more, more: the pure, extravagant,
endless, eternal, goodness of You:
Your majesty. Your excellence.
Your perfection, the divine love
in which You created me.

I know that I might never have been born.
I didn't experience eons past,
and then, out of Your imagination
and infinite love in this finite time,
in one instant, You created me
and now I live for all eternity!

I cannot adequately even begin to thank You,
but I can tell You, my Lord, how greatly appreciative I am for having had this life, and how I yearn so achingly to know You
more deeply, more fully, more closely,
and for all ages without end.

This concept burns in my mind.
I cannot totally fathom it,
but I cannot live without knowing
that it is possible: eternal, total union with You is possible. Please accept my being,
and my love, and my unending gratitude.

Please do not, Dear Merciful Lord,
desert your servant in this sere autumn age, but make it a golden time in preparation
for my meeting You one day soon face to face,
in the endless ages of eternal bliss,
in Your Kingdom, forever and ever and ever.

All this I pray in hope, and trust, and love.




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