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Prayer of an Ageing Jesuit

And please, Lord, let me still be useful,
contributing to the world my optimism,
adding my prayers to the joyful fervor and courage
of those who now take their turn at the helm.

Prayer of an Ageing Jesuit

Dearest Lord, teach me to grow gracefully.
Help me to see that my community does me no wrong
when gradually it takes from me my duties;
when it no longer seems to seek my views.

Rid me of my pride in all the “wisdom” I have learned.
Rid me of the illusion that I am indispensable.
Help me in this gradual detachment from earthly things
to grasp the meaning of your law of time.

Teach me, in this turnover of work and workers,
to discern a striking expression of life’s constant renewal
under the impulse of your providence.

And please, Lord, let me still be useful,
contributing to the world my optimism,
adding my prayers to the joyful fervor and courage
of those who now take their turn at the helm.

Let my lifestyle now become one of humble and serene
contact with the world in change,
shedding no tears for the past;
making of my human sufferings
a gift of reparation to all.

Let my leaving the field of action be simple and natural –
like a glowing, cheerful sunset.
Lord, forgive me if only now in my tranquillity
I begin to know how much you love me,
how much you’ve helped me.

And now, finally, may I have a clear, a deep understanding
of the joyful destiny you have prepared for me,
guiding my every step from the first day of my life.

Lord, teach me to grow old … just so.

This prayer first appeared in the newsletter of the Venice-Milan Jesuit province in May 1973. It has since been translated and widely reprinted.  Shared by Bishop Philip Huggins, NCCA President 


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