Today is St Teresa of Avila’s Feast Day. One can find striking portraits of Teresa online, but I searched a portrait that would fit the prayer I am posting today.

I like to forward prayers and poems to friends near and far. I prepared an e-mail with the prayer you will find below. How would my friends receive it? To my young friends, it might feel irrelevant or it might remind them of someone they know. To my older friends, they might take it for themselves and possibly feel insulted. Of course, whether young or old, it might remind them of someone they know, and then laugh along with Teresa.

When, in celebration of Teresa’s Feast Day, I read it this morning to my husband after our morning prayers, we both laughed because we could each recognize what she said in ourselves.

Enough with the talking, here it is:

Growing Older

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.S
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.

You can find the prayer here. Photo found here.