News & Events
Mar 27, 2017
As we tend to define ourselves by ‘what we do’, how are we to define ourselves after retirement? If we look through the lens of Scripture it is possible to understand the value of this stage of our lives, a point beautifully illustrated in the Catholic Faith Exploration (CaFE) DVD Series Beloved Disciples. Parishioners from throughout the city met at Holy Cross Parish for the past five weeks to explore the spirituality of the ‘autumn of our lives’ along with our facilitator, Glen Palahicky.
The two speakers featured on the DVDs, David Wells and David Payne, demonstrate convincingly the value of the ‘over sixties’ in our midst. They identify the unique characteristics of elders and go on to affirm how these contribute powerfully to the formation of families, communities and the Church. They provide reassurances for us to consider as we travel further along the road of ageing, frailty and ultimately, surrender.
We are buoyed by the initial teaching of this series—many of our ancestors in faith were in their eighties when they were called upon to do great things for the Lord! Think Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Zacharias and St. Paul. So while we may consider that we are retired, says David Wells, “God is not done with us yet.”
Having been blessed at this time in our lives with the knowledge of what matters—and what doesn’t—we can make very deliberate decisions about how to spend our time. There will be benefactors of these decisions.
We pray more “out of the depths, with greater hope and trust.” David Payne, a reformed addict saved by the power of his mother’s prayers, urges us to “ask for the hearts of those [we] know to turn to God” and to pray bold prayers of intercession until our prayers are answered.
We become more aware of the need for mercy in the world. In being more accepting we become the welcoming face of the Church.
Embracing frailty and final surrender are life-teaching events. We are reminded of St. John Paul II and our Saviour. The ‘intoxicating love’ of the Father and the glimpse of heaven provided in Revelation reassure us: Jesus walks with us.
David Payne’s concluding words to us ‘over sixties’? “We are called to get to heaven and take as many people there as possible.”
We’ve got work to do! Indeed, God is not done with us yet.
By Sheila Wall, a parishioner at Holy Cross in Victoria