Reflection: Even as We Age, Be a Source of Joy in the World

by Sr. Martinette Rivers, OLS

“In this world of ours, every believer must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying ferment for the mass…” (St. Pope John XXIII).

In our fast changing world it is often difficult to know how to act. There are too many demands on our spirit and psyche. It becomes overwhelming, yet we can still remain in sync with God. Don’t lose sight of what we want our aging lives to be about. It can be a challenge to sit still without all the memories looming up before our eyes.

God fills our aging hearts with love and joy and we know our future is still brimming with potential. You may feel like you got all A’s in school when you were young, and then aged and flunked life. But that isn’t true! We have become millionaires with a bank full of joy and happiness, to share with the world.

God fills our hearts with love and joy to keep us on His path. All the signs you pass will be older, but those of joy will permit you to be your best self. Live in the present moment. Pope St. John Paul II echoed the challenge of Jesus, “Christ came to bring joy… Go, therefore, and become messengers of joy.” Let’s choose to become joyful agers so we can make a difference in the lives of others.

Jesus lives on in our modern world. The miserable condition of the world we live in is the legacy of our failure to love one another. We all need to trust someone. G.K.Chesterton said, “Joy… is the gigantic secret of the Christian.” I think we were made for joy. It enhances everything we do and improves our health. In this world of ours, there is a lot of suffering. Still, we must not lose sight of what we want our lives to be and what we were meant to be. Aging and joy are our vocations now. This has become our real wealth, not our money.

What does God require of you in 2018? “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8). If we follow this advice, we will all have what is necessary to live a good life as we age. All the negative stuff has to go. Keep your heart and mind open to what is new. This new year gives us the opportunity to shape our future differently by what we do today.

We need to think about who brought us to this day: God, of course. Then we should remember all the people who helped us along the way. What is it that we actually want for the rest of our years? How do we make sure we don’t get in our own way? Do I pray more in my elder years for patience with myself and others? How do I deal with life’s uncertainties? What barriers in my own heart must I overcome? Is your love for others the great definer of your life? Have we become the best version of ourselves?

These questions are for your reflection as you begin the New Year. May 2018 be a year filled with all God’s blessings! Never give up hope. Happy New Year!

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