November 22, 2014 frost 053

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 point.

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.

Amen
Margot Benary-Isbert

 

Photo by Woodland Gnome

Advertisements