Vocation in Older Persons
Vocation is not just for young people!
Pope Francis reminds us that there is a special role for older persons in our society.
Being older is not the same for everybody. Some older people are diminished in their physical and mental capacities, and some older people are as physically and mentally as agile as many a younger person.
For those who are mentally diminished in their abilities, such as those who have dimentia or other mind and memory related conditions, we need to remember the life they have lived and give thanks and Glory to God for the gift they have been for us. They are now a living sign of the miricle of the gift of life that continues by God's love and energy. Their life is now an icon of the mystery of life and of God, and teaches us all that our life is truly in God's hands from birth to passing into eternal life.
For those who are suffering either mentally or physically, you have been called to share in the cross of our Lord Jesus who suffered and died for us. Jesus has taught us that suffering is a part of this life on earth, but that suffering can be offered up for the sake of the world, for love, and for the spiritual good of the world. Every time we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, you can add your personal sufferings to the supreme sacrifice of Jesus because through our baptisim, we are united to Jesus. In this, your sacrifice witnesses to your vocation of being one with Christ, making you holy and sharing in the vocation of Jesus. The greatest mystery of our faith is the Paschal Mystery, that teaches us how life cannot be crushed by suffering or death, and one day we will be born into his resurrected eternal life.
For those who are able, it is good that you contribute to the life of the Church as best you can. To build up the Kingdom of God is the greatest priveledge of baptised Christians, who are called to share in this vocation of Christ our Lord.
There are many ways to do this, for example in participation of the sacred liturgy, continuing the spiritual act of worship in the name of all. There is also the practical help you already contribute to the Church and your families, especially these days; the financial, childminding, maintinence, educational and moral support older people contribute to the world is of immense value.
The National Office for Vocation did a survey of Catholics over 60 years old, to learn about how they see God is calling them in their lives today. You can see the results of that survey in this report: