This is an old piece, but I came across it this morning in one of my prayer journals. It did me good to revisit it because I am older now than I was when I first read it. So, I am sure I need to remember it's advice more now than I did when I first read it. You can read it & weep or read it & laugh, but hopefully we will read it & heed.
17th Century Nun's Prayer
Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking
I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from the 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 endless recital of 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, oh Lord, the grace to tell them so.
*Just one correction of this nun..if you know Jesus personally, you have no choice ..you are a saint.