Third Sunday in Lent | Teresa of Avila
Yesterday an email from a friend sent me looking for prayers by Teresa of Avila. The prayer below is for anyone who’s growing older. Especially those of us closer to the senior citizen bracket.
Even if you’re not yet a senior, I urge you to read on. Without being morbid, the prayer below lays bare in a delightful way (is this possible?) the challenges and difficulties of being a senior citizen.
On Growing Older – a prayer from Teresa of Avila
Lord, You know better than I myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking
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 free from the recital of endless details;
give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains;
they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them
is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare not ask for improved memory,
but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person
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, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.
To read this online, click here.
Recently I posted a prayer for Lent. This prayer from Teresa of Avila fills out in painful detail what that prayer means.
May God grant each of us grace to age well. And for those already well along in years, grace to offer the next generations the kind of attention we longed for when we were very young.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 13 March 2021
Peter Paul Rubens’ painting of Teresa Avila found at wikimedia.org