1. The Beatitudes of the Aged
Blessed be those who understand my slow steps and my shaking hands.
Blessed are those who notice that my ears have to strain to hear what they are saying.
Blessed be those who perceive that my eyes are clouded and my reactions are slow.
Blessed are those who look the other way when I dribble at the table.
Blessed be those who please me with a smile, giving me time to talk about things of no importance.
Blessed are those who never say: “You’ve told me that a thousand times!”
Blessed be those who know how to talk about what happened in the past.
Blessed are those who make me feel that I’m loved and not abandoned.
Blessed be those who understand how hard it is for me to carry my cross.
Blessed are those who help me make that last journey to the Promised Land, treating me with love and tender care.
Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns is the retired archbishop of São Paulo, Brazil.
2. Value of Old Age and Suffering
I’m deeply convinced that people of action and of light can do nothing unless they rely
on those who accept their own suffering, immobility and prayer and offer these to
make life possible.
People who are old or sick and offer themselves to God can become the most precious
members of a community, lightening conductors of grace.
There is a mystery in the secret strength of those whose bodies are broken, who seem
to do nothing all day, but who remain in the presence of God.
Their immobility obliges them to keep their minds and hearts fixed on the essential,
the source of life itself. Their suffering and agony bear fruit, they give life.
Community and Growth’ Jean Vanier