The Pope: Grandparents and Elders, Architects of the Revolution of Tenderness That Frees the World from War

In his message for the Second World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, on July 24, Francis urged them to “be teachers of a peaceful way of life and to care for the most vulnerable,” to watch over the world and to view old age as a time of prayer and a transformation of hearts. It invites parishes and communities to perform an act of mercy by visiting the elderly alone.

Vatican News

This Tuesday (10/05) Pope Francis’ message on the occasion of the Second World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, which will be celebrated on the seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 24, was issued.

The Pope’s message begins with verse 15 of Psalm 92, which says: “Even in old age they continue to bear fruit.” This is “good news,” a true “Gospel” that we can, on the occasion of the second World Day of Grandparents and Old Age, proclaim to the world,” the Pope said in the text, emphasizing that this phrase contradicts what “the world thinks of this age of life” and “in The submissive behavior of some elderly people who “walk” with little hope and have nothing to expect from the future.

According to Francis, “Many people fear old age. They consider it a kind of disease, and it is better to avoid any kind of contact with it. Oblivious to its fragility, it allows us to imagine separate paths between ‘we’ and ‘them’.”

Learn to live an active old age

“Old age is a season that is not easy to understand,” the Pope asserts, even for those who are already experiencing it. According to the Pope, “Most advanced societies spend a lot for this age of life, but they do not help explain it: they make plans to help, but they do not make projects for existence.” Retirement and “independent” children weaken the reasons why we expend so much of our energy. The realization that power is declining or an illness is emerging can put our certainty in crisis. The world—with its accelerating rhythms, which we find difficult to keep pace with—seems to leave us no alternative, leading us to internalize the idea of ​​shedding.” Trusting in the Lord, “We shall discover that old age is not merely the natural deterioration of the body or the inevitable passage of time, but also the gift of life. long”.

“Old age is not a condemnation, it is a blessing!”

“Therefore, we must guard ourselves and Learn to live an active old age, Including from a spiritual point of view, the development of our inner life through diligent reading of the Word of God, daily prayer, regular recourse to the sacraments and participation in the liturgy. As Francis calls us to formation “Relationships with others: first, with the family, and with children, and grandchildren, to whom we ought to offer affection full of concern; and also with the poor and the troubled, to whom we approach with concrete help and prayer. All this will help us not to feel like a mere spectator in the theater of the world, and not to limit ourselves to looking from the balcony, to standing at the window. On the contrary, by sharpening our senses to recognize the presence of the Lord, we are like “a green olive tree in the house of God,” and we can be a blessing to those who live near us.”

Old age is not a useless time, Where one must set himself aside to gather the oars in the boat, but a while to continue the fruits: A new mission awaits us, inviting us to direct our eyes toward the future. “Our own sensibilities as seniors, from old age to the attention, thoughts and emotions that make us human we have to go back to be a profession for many. It will be the choice of the elderly’s love for the new generations.”. It’s ours Contribute to the revolution of tenderness, An unarmed spiritual revolution in which I invite you, dear grandparents and old people, to be its heroes, ”emphasized the Pope.

The need for profound change

Francis then recalls that “the world is going through a period of great distress, marked first by a furious and unexpected storm. pandemicthen War that harms peace and development on a global scale.”

It is no coincidence that war has returned to Europe at a time when the generation that lived through it in the last century is disappearing. These major crises threaten to render us insensitive to the fact that there are other “epidemics” and other forms of generalized violence that threaten the human family and our common home.”

“In light of all this, we need to A profound change, a transformation that disarms hearts, and allows each individual to recognize a brother in the other. And we, grandparents and old people, have a great responsibility: to teach the women and men of our time to look at others with the same understanding and kindness that we have for our grandchildren. We improve our humanity by caring for others, and today we can be masters of a peaceful lifestyle and caring for the most vulnerable. “

According to the Pope, one of the fruits of the elderly “Called production is to guard the world.” “We all sat on the knees of our forefathers, who held us in their hands”; But today is the time to get on our knees – with tangible help or even just prayer – along with our grandchildren, and the many others who fear we still don’t know and who might flee or suffer from war. Let us keep in our hearts – as Saint Joseph, a tender and caring father – did the little ones in Ukraine, Afghanistan and South Sudan…”.

Happiness is the bread we eat together

We do not save ourselves alone, Francis recalls, “happiness is the bread we eat together.” Even allowing self-care, “often by people who come from other countries, is a way of saying that it is not only possible, but also necessary to live together.” According to the Pope, the grandparents and the elderly are “They are called to be the makers of the Raqqa revolution”and invited them to “use more and more the best and most valuable tool they have” for their age:Prayer”. He stressed that “our confident prayers can do a lot: they are able to accompany the cry of pain of those who suffer and can contribute to changing hearts. Praise preserves a society that works and fights in the field of life.”

The Pope demands the proclamation of the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly in parishes and communities, to be a day to visit the elderly abandoned at home or in nursing homes. “No one shall live this day in solitude. Having someone to take care of him can change the direction of the days of those who no longer expect anything good in the future; and from the first meeting a new friendship can be born. A visit to an abandoned old age is a work of mercy for our age!” “Let us ask Our Lady, Mother of tenderness, to make us all worthy craftsmen of the Raqqa revolution so that we may free the world together from the shadow of loneliness and the demon of war.‘, he concludes.

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