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Pope's audience: the elderly can inspire more equitable and

Pope’s audience: the elderly can inspire more equitable and

Pope Francis continued his teaching about aging in the general public in St Peter’s Square and spoke on Wednesday about how the elderly can provide us with a much-needed example of perseverance in prayer and hopeful surrender to the Lord.

Charlotte Smedes – Vatican

Referring to the fervent prayer in Psalm 71, “You are my hope, Lord, my God, my wish from my youth,” Pope Francis noted in his general audience how the psalmist feels the growing weakness and weakness that comes with age, and asks for God’s protection and protection.

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This concern is shared by many of today’s elderly, the pope said, noting that older people sometimes feel that their dignity and even their rights are threatened by the spread of a “culture of wear and tear” that considers them worthless and a burden to society. “We even see in the media how old people today can be the target of fraud, as the Pope lamented, or how they are abandoned without protection or care, even by their families.

In a similar way, one might be tempted to hide one’s weakness by disease or old age, for fear of losing one’s dignity, added the Pope, wondering why today’s “modern civilization” is so uncomfortable with disease and old age; Thus, it pursues a policy that strives to define the limits of a dignified existence, while not respecting the “dignity of loving coexistence with the elderly and the sick.”

The pope stressed that society as a whole “takes care of the elderly who are more and more often than not”, especially because of today’s culture that “poisons” the world in which we live.

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To trust in God’s care

The Pope added that the psalmist affirms at the same time his confidence in “God’s faithfulness and divine providence.” The old man of the psalmist, who saw his old age as a defeat, “discovers trust in the Lord anew. Feeling the need for help, he turns to God.”

“In every generation, elders can set us a much-needed example of perseverance in prayer and hopeful surrender to the Lord. Through their presence and example, they can open their minds and hearts and inspire the building of a more just and humane society – one that respects all stages of life and values ​​the contribution of each of its members to the the public good.”

He added that the elderly, by virtue of their frailty, could teach those in other stages of life the necessity of surrendering to the Lord and asking for His help.

“Master of Weakness”

In conclusion, the Pope said that there is a kind of “vulnerability theory” by which aging can reliably remind us throughout the life of mankind. He insisted that old age offers a doctrine that “opens a decisive horizon for the important reform of our civilization,” which is indispensable for the benefit of coexistence and the good of all.