Last moment

signs of age begin to mark my body
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 waken
to the fact that I am ill or growing old;
and above all at the last moment
when I feel I am losing hold of myself
and absolutely passive in 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 only my faith is strong enough)
who are painfully parting the fibres of my being
in order to penetrate to the very marrow of my
substance
and bear me away within yourself.

Teilhard de Chardin