An Appropriate Prayer

In light of the fact that many of us will be spending more time than usual with family members over the next few days, I thought it'd be appropriate to post a simple but profound prayer I came across again recently. This prayer was written by an anonymous seventeenth-century nun, but it resonates with the predicaments faced by the 21st century housewife, working woman or student more than a woman who had secluded herself from the mundane and worldly. In fact, it's rather amazing to me just how timeless this prayer is.

It's my prayer for the holidays and should be the plea of our hearts every other day as well. See if it speaks the cries of your heart.

"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 guess it's never been easy to " get along" and prayer has always been a necessary ingredient for happy relationships. May we be blessings to those we encounter today instead of button-pushers!

Merry Christmas!

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