Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Elderly

Amidst all the battles and campaigning that one seems called to fight and participate in, I found a few hours of great peace today visiting the elderly in local residential care homes. Many of them are living in an unreal world, their minds having become detached from reality. Yet they welcomed me as a priest and praised the Lord in their own way as they received Him in the Holy Eucharist.

People find suffering and old age difficult to cope with. I find it a great privilege to be with these people who have returned to a childhood innocence, blissfully unaware of the evils of the world in which they live, already at the threshold of eternal life. For some, the time they remain on that threshold is short, for others it is longer. Many of their families perhaps do not share our Catholic faith and do not understand the dignity of old age. But for me they radiate and dispense love. I see Christ in them.

I am very grateful to our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion without whom it would be impossible to ensure these beloved sons and daughters of God receive Holy Communion and the love of the Christian community each week. But it is important for us priests to ensure we visit our elderly and sick parishioners regularly. I think they are truly the treasure of the parish.


  1. Thank you Father, both for this inspiring post and indeed for all that you do in general. I hope you don't mind, I've replicated your post (fully attributed/linked) on my own blog, as it tied in well with the theme.

  2. Beautiful post, Father. In her later years, my grandmother, due to a severe hip injury which never healed properly, was unable to get to church much. How much she appreciated the visits from the priest who brought her Holy Communion and who was able to hear her confessions.

  3. Athanasius: of course, and many thanks (couldn't find the link to your post just now).

  4. Father, I didn't include the link in my comment as my blog is only likely to be of interest to a few local people in Oxford... but trust me, your words have been and will be well received by them. I find it so encouraging on a personal level.



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