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Reflections On Growing Old

Item Number: 18260

Catalog Code: GrowOld-DIS

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Reflections On Growing Old

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Fr. John LaFarge

How to conquer any fear of aging - and make your senior years your

At 84, Fr. John LaFarge was struck by the many advantages and blessings of aging, and he observed that modern men and women have lost touch with the traditional view of old age as the crowning of life. Seeing it instead as a "calamity," he says, is what makes aging such a misery for many. The right approach? The one the respected Jesuit himself cultivated:

"Old age is a gift .... I thank God for it daily."

The challenge is to not only say that but mean it. Which begins, writes Father LaFarge, with the recognition "that after all old age has its own meaning, like other phases of human life, and that the wisest thing we could do, when age creeps up on us, is to explore that meaning and to adopt some general plan of action, so as really to profit by it." With a wisdom borne of personal experience, and a halfcentury of ministering to souls, he shows you:

Bitterness: the result of one deficiency above all else ,/ Three virtues crucial to aging well J How the life beyond gives meaning to old age, its threshold The true meaning of hope: essential to understanding the true meaning of old age

Four facts about love of neighbor in relation to old age

Ways to mitigate the frequent loneliness of old age

Responsibility of the young and society to the elderly

Spiritual maturity: not automatic. How to identify, and resist, the "inner monsters" that keep us from achieving it

Bad habits: no, it's never too late to break them, and here's how (though it gets harder the longer you delay)

Why courage is so important -- and how you can be "spendthrift" with it when you're older, as never before

Typical problems of aging -- physical, mental, emotional, social and professional -- and how to cope with them

"Growth-through-diminishment": crucial to understanding and profiting from old age

Why trying to act, or think, or even feel, "younger" only leads to discontent

One important power that can grow in old age

Secrets of growing old together: what makes some couples preserve unity and mutual helpfulness into old age

Writes Fr. LaFarge: "You may bitterly oppose the coming of old age: try to ignore it, conceal it, resist it by every means possible. For a time you may achieve some degree of success with the aid of wigs or vitamins. Yet time and age are inexorable. Even Methuselah had to capitulate in the end. But we can determine our own attitude toward this phenomenon, and it is of the utmost importance."


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8 1/4"  (20.9 cm) x 5 1/2"  (13.9 cm) x 0 1/2"  (1.27 cm)
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