The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Growing Old.

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This week’s story is all about something that I am very good at – growing old. I am told that growing old graciously should be one of life’s goals, but as my wife tells me I am a grumpy old man, I’m not sure I am succeeding in this achievement. Recently, I took my little dog out for a walk and met a fellow dog walker; we had a bit of a chat and then the lady said to me, “I’ve been meaning to ask you for some time, how old are you?” I replied “70.” She said, “Is that all, I thought you were at least 80.” To which I replied, “You can go off people very quickly you know,” we had a good laugh and went on our way. We shouldn’t need to fear ageing or gloss over our anxiety of being old and past it.

There is a story told of a lady buying a new hat and after on trying several different colours, her friend said, “I should buy that one if I were you; it makes you look at least ten years younger. Quickly the lady put it back on the shelf saying, “No, I don’t want that one, as I’d hate to look ten years older every time I took it off!” “Mother Nature” and “Father Time,” may well have brought us backache, baldness and variofocals, but that doesn’t mean we have to act or think old, or cease to enjoy having a
good laugh at ourselves. When he was asked by a reporter how he felt about turning eighty, ex-President Dwight D Eisenhower replied, “Well, it sure does beat the alternative.”

If we are still alive, God kept us around for a reason, we should try and find out what it is and then pour all our efforts and every ounce of energy we have left into it. You know, you can be old at 25 and young at 85, it’s all in the mind, you are only old when you think you know all there is to know and there is nothing left to learn about, which in our fast changing world is a very tall order indeed.

The Psalmist put it this way: I have been young and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not important, it lasts so short a time.”

Samuel Johnson.

Published Mon 10th Sep 2012 12:10:39

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