This prayer written by a seventeenth-century nun blesses me each time I read it, so I share the prayer this morning in hopes that it blesses you as much as it blesses me.
Keep Me Sweet Lord
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from getting talkative, particularly from the fatal habit of thinking that 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 from the recital of endless details-give me wings to come to the point.
I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. 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. 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 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.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
I don’t know the name of the dear nun who penned this prayer, but I am thankful she had the courage and humility to put into words what I needed to hear. I love it when God does that:)