Happy Thanksgiving. There is much to be grateful for in each of our lives. I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving. We arrived in Scottsdale six days ago. Diane and her husband Tim, along with Diane's son Alex and his fiance arrived Wednesday and left Friday. We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the Desert Highlands club house where our AZ home is located. It was enjoyable having family here with us and the weather cooperated as well. It was a great Thanksgiving
I was reminded again of the poem, Prayer of an Aging Jesuit. There is much to learn in this prayer for me at my age and in my present stage of life. Being with people this Thanksgiving reminded me of it.
Prayer of an Aging Jesuit
Dearest Lord, teach me to grow old 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 of 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 fit of reparation to all my brothers. Let my leaving the field of action be simple and natural – like a glowing, cheerful sunset.
Lord forgive me if only now in my tranquility I begin to know how much you love me, how much you’ve helped me. And now, finally, may I have a clear, 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…
This prayer first appeared in the newsletter of the Venice-Milan providence in May 1973 and has since been translated and widely reprinted.