How to keep friends

At a funeral I went to recently, the family said they found this prayer in the deceased’s chair. I searched the net, but didn’t find an author. Comments in brackets are mine.

A Daily Prayer for Those Growing Old

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.    [I think everyone of any age should read this!]

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.   [oops, I guess this blog post ignores this one]

Release me from craving to try and straighten out everyone’s affairs.   [agree, but don’t stop telling me about all the affairs – gotta have some fun]

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 thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.    [my advice is to write a book – that way people will pay for your advice anyway and you can get your friends to “proofread” the book so they have to read it]

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 grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience.  [I would add here not only patience but also the social graces to exit a conversation]

I dare not ask for improved memory [that’s what smartphones are for now], but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness

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 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 me grace to tell them so!   [Sainthood should be saved for the afterlife, I’m growing old, but I’m not dead yet!]

Amen

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