I was given this recently by the daughter of a person whose funeral I conducted. I thought it was worth sharing.
Prayer (by a seventeenth-century nun)
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 the craving to try 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 Thou knowest, 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 from my many aches and pains. They are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Help me to endure them with patience.
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 hard to live with; but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Help me to extract all possible fun out of life. There are so many funny things around us and I do not want to miss any of them. Amen.