Aging/Dying Prayer

By  Theilhard de Chardin, SJ

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 face 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 hands
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 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.