“Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older, and will some day be old.
- Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
- Release me from craving to try to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
- Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details — give me wings to get to the point.
- I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Help me to endure them with patience.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 in the end.”
— From Little Book of Prayers by a Mother Superior who wishes to be anonymous; included in Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson and Michael W. Benson.