SEPTEMBER THOUGHTS ON OLD AGE AND INFIRMITY

Bishop Anthony writes: Many of the people who receive our monthly Notes and Kalendar by post, as well as those who regularly look on Line, are in the later stages of life. Some are in their sixties and seventies – still fairly fit, but wondering perhaps about their later years. Some are in their eighties and nineties, devout Christians who, nonetheless, must contemplate their leaving this earthly life. We have many young people too, especially our lovely students at Holborn, Battersea and Cardigan. I trust they will also read the following pastoral words of Pope John Paul II with prayerful reflection, for one day it will apply to them too! “Be not afraid: I go before you”. And we know that Christ does go before us and is our Life & Resurrection. Our eternal destiny is indeed elsewhere, but getting old and frail is not fun!!

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In old age, how should one face the inevitable decline of life? How should one act in the face of death? The believer knows that his life is in the hands of God: “You, O Lord, hold my lot” (Psalm 16), and he accepts from God the need to die. Man is not the master of life, nor is he the master of death. In life and in death, he has to entrust himself completely to the “Good Pleasure of the Most High” – to God's loving plan. Do not neglect your sick and elderly. Do not turn away from the handicapped and the dying. Do not push them to the margins of society. For, if you do, you will fail to understand that they represent an important truth. The sick, the elderly, the handicapped and the dying teach us that weakness is a creative part of human living, and that suffering can be embraced with no loss of dignity. Without the presence of these people in your midst, you might be tempted to think of health, strength and power as the only important values to be pursued in life. But the wisdom of Christ and the power of Christ are to be seen in the weakness of those who share HIS sufferings. A source of joy is found in the overcoming of the sense of the uselessness of suffering, a feeling that is sometimes very strongly rooted in human suffering. This feeling not only consumes the person interiorly, but seems to make him a burden to others. The person feels condemned to receive help and assistance from others, and, at the same time, seems useless to himself. The discovery of the salvific meaning of suffering in union with Christ transforms this depressing feeling. Everything is bound up and fulfilled in our love of Jesus!

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Let us pray: O Lord of life, that we may lovingly accept Thy will, and place ourselves each day in Thy merciful hands. And when the moment of our eternal journey begins, grant that we may face it with serenity, and without regret for what we shall leave behind. Most Holy Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, pray for us: now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

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MARY, OUR LADY OF SORROWS: KEEP US IN THY LOVING CARE!

JESUS, HOLY REDEEMER, PROTECT ALL AGED AND FRAIL PEOPLE!

JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH: ASSIST US ALL IN OUR LAST DAYS AND HOURS!

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And a Passing Thought

It is by dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

{Saint Francis of Assisi}

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Thou, my God and Master, the hope and confidence of my youth, Thou hast upheld me from birth: Thou hast guarded me ever since I left my mother's womb and ever in Thee was my trust. Men stare at me now as a strange portent, so signal the protection Thou hast given me. O, God, do not fail me now when I am old and grey-headed, till I have made known the proofs of Thy power to this, to all the generations that will follow; that faithfulness of Thine which reacheth up, O God to the heavens, so signally made manifest. Lift my head high; turn back and comfort me. {Psalm 70}

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HOLY MICHAEL, ARCHANGEL! Defend us in the day of battle! Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil: may God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to hell Satan and all the wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls! Amen

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SAINT WENCESLAUS OF BOHEMIA: PRAY FOR US!
 

 

THE ARCHCONFRATERNITY OF OUR LADY OF VICTORIES
(Part of the Worldwide Family of Traditional Roman Catholics)
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