Old Nun’s Prayer

I found a framed copy of this prayer many years ago in an antique shop. It was originally found in an old English church and supposedly it is from the 17th Century. The older I get, the truer the words are.

Lord, you know better than I know myself
that I am growing older and one day will be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must
say something on every subject
and on every occasion.

Release me from 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 you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless 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 others pains,
but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory,
but for growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness
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 talent in unexpected people,
and give me O Lord the grace to tell them so. AMEN.

Anonymous – 17th century. 
Found in an old English Church

Photo by Mathieu Acker from Pexels

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