This past week I had a birthday. My wife is reading a book titled, “Hearts On Fire: Praying with Jesuits,” edited by Michael Harter, SJ. I picked it up and read a short prayer titled, “Prayer for the Grace to Age Well,” by Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, SJ, which follows:
“When the signs of age begin to mark my body (and still more when they touch my mind);
when the ill that is to diminish me or carry me off strikes from without or is born within me;
when the painful moment comes in which I suddenly awaken to the fact that I am ill or growing old;
and above all at that last moment when I feel I am losing hold of myself and am absolutely passive within the hand of the great unknown forces that have formed me;
in all those dark moments, O God, grant that I may understand that it is you (provided only my faith is strong enough) who are painfully parting the fibers of my being in order to penetrate to the very marrow of my substance and bear me away within yourself.”
Photo courtesy of and copyright Free Range Stock, http://www.freerangestock.com, “Photographer,” Free Range Stock Archives.