Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess
Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old.
Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say
something on every subject and at every opportunity.
Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples’ affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom,
it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.
Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the
Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity.
But seal my lips on my own aches and pains — they increase with the increasing years and my
inclination to recount them is also increasing.
I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less
self-assurance when my own memory doesn’t agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that
occasionally I may be wrong.
Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint — it is
so hard to live with some of them — but a harsh old person is one of the devil’s masterpieces.
Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover
merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord,
give me the grace to tell them so.