Pope Francis says grandparents and elderly the ‘artisans of the revolution of tenderness in our world’

01 August 2022

Pope Francis has referred to grandparents and elderly people as “artisans of the revolution of tenderness in our world” in his letter to the Catholic community in conjunction with the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, held on 24 July.

Reflecting on this year’s theme “In Old Age They Will Still Bear Fruit,” taken from Psalm 92, His Holiness took the time to encourage the senior citizens of the world to recognise the ongoing presence and gift they are in the world.

“Along with old age and white hairs, God continues to give us the gift of life and to keep us from being overcome by evil. If we trust in him, we will find the strength to praise him still (cf. vv. 14-20).

We will come to see that growing old is more than the natural decline of the body or the inevitable passage of time, but the gift of a long life. Aging is not a condemnation, but a blessing!”

“For this reason, we ought to take care of ourselves and remain active in our later years. This is also true from a spiritual standpoint: we ought to cultivate our interior life through the assiduous reading of the word of God, daily prayer, reception of the sacraments and participation in the liturgy.

“In addition to our relationship with God, we should also cultivate our relationships with others: first, by showing affectionate concern for our families, our children, and grandchildren, but also for the poor and those who suffer, by drawing near to them with practical assistance and our prayers.

“These things will help us not to feel like mere bystanders, sitting on our porches or looking out from our windows, as life goes on all around us. Instead, we should learn to discern everywhere in the presence of the Lord.”

Pope Francis said grandparents and elderly people have the responsibility to teach the “women and men of our time” to regard others with the same understanding and loving gaze with which they regard their own grandchildren.

“We ourselves have grown in humanity by caring for others, and now we can be teachers of a way of life that is peaceful and attentive to those in greatest need. This attitude may be mistaken for weakness or resignation, yet it will be the meek, not the aggressive and the abusive, who will inherit the earth (cf. Mt 5:5).”

Find prayer and liturgical resources and Pope Francis’ message at www.catholic.org.au/grandparents

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