17세기, 이름이 알려지지 않은 어느 수녀가 다음과 같이 기도했다.
Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. 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.
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 for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other’s pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
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, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.
<Seventeenth Century Nun’s Prayer>
나이 먹을수록 바라는 것은 겸손하고, 사려깊고, 타인의 고통에 공감하며, 따뜻하고, 너그럽고, 되도록 침묵할 수 있는 사람이 되는 것이다. 말수를 줄이고, 참견하지 않고, 군림하지 않고, 유연하게 타인을 받아들이고 싶다.
욕망을 줄이고, 삶을 보다 단순하고 간소하게 꾸려나가길 기도한다.