Lord, you know better than I know myself
that I am growing older and will some day
be old.

Keep me from being talkative
and particularly from the fatal habit
of thinking that 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 you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind from the recital of endless details –
give me wings to come to the point.

I ask for grace enough to listen
to the tales of others’ pain.
But seal my lips on my own aches and pains. They are increasing, and my love
of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter
as the years go by. 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 it is possible
that 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 woman 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.

From Laughter, Silence and Shouting
by Kathy Keay, 1994 - Thanks to Dee Sitnik

The nun pictured above is Sister Teresita
of the Buenafuente del Sistal Convent about 60 miles from Madrid, who has been a nun for more than 84 years. In 2011, at the age of 103, she met with Pope Benedict XVI. She has been in the convent since April 16, 1927, the day that Benedict was born.

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