Last Sunday Pope Francis gave us the first ‘Day of Prayer for Grandparents and Elderly people’. As I had been away for the previous week I didn’t have time to read up on it before preparing the newsletter. So, my apologies that it wasn’t promoted in advance. I did read the excellent letter that the Holy Father wrote for the occasion and I recommend it to you, just Google “Pope’s Letter for Grandparents Day 2021” and you will find the text in English. In the letter Pope Francis talks about God sending his angels to accompany us as we make our way through life, and reminds us that we can be that angel for each other. The senior members of the community can really benefit from the care and attention, thoughtfulness, love and affection of their family and friends, their neighbours, church and community. He also reminds those who are advanced in years that their dreams, memories and prayers are an essential support for the generations which follow, and he sees that even the least mobile, the frail and the ill can still be a powerful source of love, support and companionship to the younger members of their families. It is one of his great insights that everyone has a role to play, all contribute something to the common good.
The spirit of the day is captured in the prayer written for the occasion:
I thank You, Lord,
for the comfort of Your presence:
even in times of loneliness,
You are my hope and my confidence,
You have been my rock and my fortress since my youth!
I thank You for having given me a family
and for having blessed me with a long life.
I thank You for moments of joy and difficulty,
for the dreams that have already come true in my life and for
those that are still ahead of me.
I thank You for this time of renewed fruitfulness to which You call me.
Increase, O Lord, my faith,
make me a channel of your peace,
teach me to embrace those who suffer more than me,
to never stop dreaming
and to tell of your wonders to new generations.
Protect and guide Pope Francis and the Church,
that the light of the Gospel might reach the ends of the earth.
Send Your Spirit, O Lord, to renew the world,
that the storm of the pandemic might be calmed,
the poor consoled and wars ended.
Sustain me in weakness
and help me to live life to the full
in each moment that You give me,
in the certainty that you are with me every day,
even until the end of the age.