- 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 at the end.
—From Little Book of Prayers
(by a Mother Superior who wishes to be anonymous)