Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess


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.


Margot Benary-Isbert


8 responses to “Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess

  1. A great prayer we should all pray each day. Two things I attempt to live by are: there is generally always two sides and I am never so smart that I can’t learn somthing from a dummy. The third is to listen and not feel a responce is required, giving time and the mind a chance to do it’s thing in both the one who speaks and the one who listened. Great post. Thanks.

  2. Amen! I love this prayer because it reminds me that I must embrace life by accepting what is and resisting self. Thanks.

    • Thanks Vernon, I do appreciate your thoughtful comments. And thanks for tweeting my posts I hope to reciprocate one day but I still don’t get this twitter think LOL – one day I’ll learn. I wish you and your family a God blessed week.

  3. Thought provoking words to guide us all through the process of aging. I find the one who listens best to my aging aches is the one who is creating them.
    Our woes are best heard by Him.
    Lovely post ….

  4. Pingback: A Humble Attitude | Jubilee Journey

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