A Prayer for Those Growing Old (and Fearful), That’s Me.
Recently, I came across a prayer written in 2002 by a now deceased Canadian Jesuit missionary from Winnipeg who worked in Darjeeling, India. – Father Edgar Burns, SJ. As a retired history teacher who is “growing older”, I am fearful of many things from the covid-19 – the invisible enemy – the dark winter that looms over us with no assurance of a spring vaccine , to life in the “new normal”. The world needs the comfort and joy of the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
I have added my own words – “and fearful” to the title of the prayer because I think they truly reflect 2020 although Fr. Burns’ faith and humour might also have transcended my fears:
“A Prayer for Those Growing Old (and Fearful), That’s Me. “
Lord, you know I am growing older. Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject.
Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone’s affairs.
Keep me from the recital of endless detail. Give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains. They are increasing with the years and my love to speak about them grows sweeter as time goes by.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Make me thoughtful but not nosey, helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom and experience it does seem a pity not to use it all. But you know that I want a few friends at the end. Amen.