GOES ON - AT FIFTY YEARS OF AGE:
THE AUTUMN OF LIFE
God, my Father
my life is more than half over.
In retrospect, my past does not seem
to have been so difficult, but neither
does it seem to have been so admirable.
I find that
the responsibilities of life
seem both more demanding and less important to me
now. The pleasures of life seem somewhat less alluring.
Yet I want to stay alive, attuned more
and more to the essential things,
and the challenges of this world
which You have given to me.
Have I lived up to my potential?
Is the world better for my having lived?
If I were to be invited to heaven today,
how prepared would I be?
What credentials and recommendations
could I offer to the heavenly host
guarding the gates to paradise?
How shining a soul? How pure a heart?
Let me realize the shortness of the span
of days and the magnitude of preparation
appropriate to the high calling
Guide me, my God, to the safe harbor of Your haven
and judge me mercifully, not severely.
God, my God
I am now more than 80,
so clearly the far greatest part of my life
is behind me.
of years slows my gait
and shortens my breath, blurs my vision
and challenges my hearing,
reduces the sensitivity of my taste buds,
quiets ambition, cools the fires of lust,
dims the brilliance of colors and music,
and dulls the sharp intrusions
of all the sensual world.
I accept Your will in this and all things.
Let my body quietly accept all this change
without undue rebellion or complaint,
so that pains and fatigue may not freight down the
burning and sharpening
of the inquisitive mind, and the leavening
the strivings of my unquiet soul
as it gradually, gently, frees itself
from earthly distractions and turns
more and more to the unity with You
that only a body finally dead in the grave, and a
soul reborn to eternity can share.
I have made
myself what I have made myself
and must accept that. I cannot return to correct my
missteps and erase my sins.
Nevertheless I pray I pray that in some measure I
may be pleasing to your eye.
Please force yourself on me, my Creator.
Please insist that I see You, hear You,
and the good path You opene to me
at every moment.
Please, please, my Divine Lover,
guide me into Your arms.
I feel an
innate vitality that makes it impossible to believe
that at my death
all consciousness of any kind will cease.
If this were true, what loss? For I would not know.
But I feel confident and hopeful,
and I have strong faith that there is more,
that there is a life
beyond this dubious world, and there is You, waiting
to welcome me to eternity.
I do believe.
Help Thou my unbelief.
I have lived
but my soul remains hungrily unsatisfied.
I want more. I hope for more.
All the pleasures and attractions
of the world fade because my soul knows
that You exist.
I have the
strongest desire and hope
of coming into Your company.
and the intricacy
and the beauty of the world all speak to me of You,
and in the infinitude
of the galaxies I sense more, more, more,
the pure eternal goodness of You:
The magnanimous love
through which you created me.
I know that I might never have been born.
I experienced none of the ages past,
and then, out of Your imagination and love and mercy,
suddenly and infinitely
You created me.
adequately even begin to thank you,
but I can let You know how appreciative I am
for having had this life, and how I yearn so very
much to know You closer and deeper
and for all eternity.
burns in my mind. I cannot totally fathom it, but
I cannot live
without knowing that it is possible.
Please accept my being and my love
and my eternal thanks.
© 1980 Donn B. Murphy
And Now © 2010 Donn B. Murphy
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