Thursday, September 25, 2014

Golden Age

In my many years of experience as lay religious missionary to the "little ones of Jesus" - the poor and vulnerable- the sick - the outcast, our ministry with the  elderly is the closest to my heart. Maybe because I had a good memory of my time with my two grand mothers, but I never had the chance to return gratitude for their goodness to me as they were already both gone at my earlier adult years.

Memorable moments with the elderly, I have many...

"Golden Age, I'll tell you what Golden Age means", said Mary...

What's golden age, Mary? I replied.

"Well, it's the "icing on the cake!"she said. ... "Hmmmmmm" I replied... trying to grasp what she just said.

She continued  with those twinkles on her two eyes and a smile on her face; yes, with that peaceful joy aura behind those lines on her face --no pretense, just pure and simple, she looked at me as she replied, "It means the best it yet to come..."

I paused... she was waiting to see if I understood what she meant....

"Oh I think I got it ! Icing on the cake makes the cake desirable to eat ! The packaging...and we can't wait 'til we get a slice to taste what's inside.  To confirm that the cake is good ! Correct?" , I teased her.

She laughed and said, "you got it!"

"But, what does it mean".... I was asking myself...

Laughing she volunteered answering my unspoken question...  "I never thought I have many gifts .. that I  have acquired intelligence as I grow older ... that I can do many useful things still... that I can still be of help to others..I never understood about wisdom when I was young... "

"O.k..." I quickly replied, wanting her to keep talking...

"I never thought that reaching this age (she was 92 then)  I would realize the gifts I received in the grace of my Confirmation.."

The "Gifts" she was referring to are wisdom, understanding, prudence, fortitude, knowledge, fear of the Lord, piety.She was talking about Gifts of the Holy Spirit that were sealed by the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation in our soul when we reached the age of reason and further enriched as we grow mature in life's journey. She was telling me that golden age allowed her to experience and live these gifts of the Holy Spirit and with the grace of God in faith, hope and love she knew that she was still being given the opportunity to perfect them one by one in hopeful anticipation of the "best that yet to come"...

"Gratitude"... that was the meaning of those twinkles on her wrinkled face with beaming joy...

In other words Mary was telling me that golden age is the time of "expectation" for something worth waiting for... HOPE!

"I think I understood!" I exclaimed...
Wanting our conversation to keep going so I asked,

"Do you still remember often your husband?"
(She has been a widow for 42 years. They were together for 30yrs)

She looked at me without blinking her eyes,,,

"Everyday... in my sleep... when I wake-up; when I have my breakfast... when I take a walk.. in my prayers...Everyday...everyday...He is here with me..."

"Some people think that being old means life has ended... On the contrary, golden age is the precious time of expectation ... the 'icing'  that creates the excitement of waiting for something "yet to come"! Something far more than the here and now...The golden memories we acquired in life, brought forward to the present that excitement we had as we discover life.. And while we are threading on the lessons of life we take these memories unto the future... to that day...  and I know waiting will be over and .... I shall meet him again who never really left me by myself."

Yes, the best is yet to come.... for Mary... For us... If we become conscious in living of this present temporal reality as we prepare for the eternal joy that awaits us ; as we continue to put the beautiful "icing on the cake of life" ; as we move along to our own journey of life lived in gratitude for ..

...and it is not earned by anyone.
... it is a GIFT that we are given and one day, we will be asked to return this gift to the GIVER... 

I hope with beautiful "icing on the cake"!

The Gift: Aim for JOY...
Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Seven Gifts and their Meaning

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful. I know you've had a lot of wonderful and wisdom-filled experiences with the 'young-at-heart,' the way I had with the sick. They are blessings to our lives.

    My mom has another point of view with regards golden age contrary to the icing in the cake, but I'd rather look into your reflections which point out to the "best is yet to come," for I truly believe in this. Somewhat related to delayed gratification.

    Your reflection also welcomes living life to its full while we have it. It's also beautiful how the gifts of the Holy Spirit came into full circle and her awareness throughout her journey.

    Gratitude, hope and I'd like to add "grace" is truly learned in a life lived well :)

    Amazing love+