An unnamed seventeenth century nun wrote the following prayer. As I read and meditate on her words I think of how easily it could have been written today instead of centuries past. The thirteen points seemed to jump off the page into my lap giving me a stable prayer foundation perfect for the start of a New Year.
Here is her prayer; in her own words:
- Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and every occasion.
- Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
- Make me thoughtful but not moody.
- Helpful but not bossy.
- 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.
- Give me patience to endure the tales of others’ pains.
- Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
- Keep me reasonably sweet; not a saint – not a sour old person.
- Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places.
- To see talents in unexpected people.
- And give me O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
O Lord, as we start the New Year bless us with the gift of answered prayer from an unnamed seventeenth century nun.