Pope: the prayers of the elderly are a gift to the Church and to society
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged the Church to challenge the current throwaway culture by fostering a joyful embrace and a fruitful dialogue between the young and the old.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience, the Pope continued in his catechesis on the family, focusing for the second week in a row, on grandparents.
I too – Francis said – belong to this age group, and I speak putting myself into their shoes. It is important to highlight – he said – that although society tends to discard us, the Lord certainly does not.
In fact – he continued – He calls us to follow Him in every moment of our lives including old-age which contains a special grace and mission.
It is not a time – he said – “to give up” and be marginalized.
The Gospel, Pope Francis pointed out, offers us the image of Simeon and Anna, two older persons who hope in the Lord’s promises, and at the end of their lives see them fulfilled.
Simeon and Anna, the Pope said, are models of spirituality for the elderly, they point to the centrality of prayer.
And Pope Francis reiterated that the prayer of grandparents is a great grace and a great gift for families and for the Church.
“In prayer, they thank the Lord for his blessings, otherwise so often unacknowledged; they intercede for the hopes and needs of the young; they lift up to God the memory and sacrifices of past generations” he said.
The Pope also spoke of how prayer helps us to find the wisest way to teach the young that the true meaning of life is found in self-sacrificing love and concern for others.
“Young people listen to their grandparents” he said.
And delving into his own memories, Francis said “I still treasure the words my grandmother wrote to me on the day of my ordination. I carry them with me to this day inside my breviary”.
“How I would like” – he concluded – a Church that challenges today’s throwaway culture with a joyful new embrace between the young and the old”.