Let’s go to the blogs:
Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez reminded us the other day that “There is no retirement from spiritual combat. As St. Faustina explains, “Old age does not dispense one from the combat” [Diary, 517].
In fact, we see how Jesus on the Cross was up against the evil one to His very last breath.
So are we.
Unfortunately, our society is rife with retirement at every level — as if once a person is eligible for Medicare or Social Security there is no further need to do anything but perhaps play golf.
Many don’t even do that — sitting around and waiting to die, basically; watching television personalities drone on.
This is the exact wrong approach. Old age is prime time — a terrific opportunity — to work for final cleansing of the interior; to build constant attitude of kindness and charity and love; to pray for others.
If one can, it is also an opportunity to serve others: perhaps by volunteering at nursing homes or hospitals, or send notes of spiritual encouragement. There is no end to what one can accomplish in the latter years — which are “golden” ones only if deployed in the service of the Almighty.
In fact, it’s in our later years that the evil one, spotting frailties, attacks with special truculence.
Yet, those assaults are blunted by the Rosary, by Adoration (if one is able), by reading Scripture. Make the “sunset” of your life the “sunrise.”
God is perfect and wastes not a minute. Every minute is thus valuable — and by His design. Every one should be used in consort with the Holy Spirit, if one wants direct entry into Heaven. How much times — how many hundreds upon hundreds of hours — are frittered away on amusements, entertainments, and political debates that bear no lasting meaning — but diminish that priceless time.
The more you work, the younger you feel.
As a blogger put it, “One’s older years are not to be spent solely in the pursuit of pleasure. Paul says that the widow who lives for pleasure is dead while she yet lives (1 Timothy 5:6). Contrary to biblical instruction, many people equate retirement with “pursuit of pleasure” if at all possible. This is not to say that retirees cannot enjoy golf, social functions, or pleasurable pursuits. But these should not be the primary focus of one’s life at any age.”
The Christian never retires from Christ’s service; he only changes the address of his workplace.
Retirement is a new phase of life — an opportunity — not the end of it.
The psalmist’s prayer should be our prayer as we age: “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18)
Another blogger adds, “One’s older years are not to be spent solely in the pursuit of pleasure. Paul says that the widow who lives for pleasure is dead while she yet lives (1 Timothy 5:6). Contrary to biblical instruction, many people equate retirement with “pursuit of pleasure” if at all possible. This is not to say that retirees cannot enjoy golf, social functions, or pleasurable pursuits. But these should not be the primary focus of one’s life at any age.”
“Christians need to be aware that the Bible does not endorse ‘retirement’ from work, danger or action. Rather, this is a season of redeployment, discovery of our true career in God, our higher calling. It should be no surprise we are called to do just the opposite of ‘retire – to ‘arise, to get up!’ Sound familiar?”
Certainly, children must assist parents and grandparents in all their needs, and any other elderly within their circle; but the elderly should never expect children to fill vacancies in their lives; only God and serving Him can do that.
A third blogger: “One stark way of dramatising the issue would be to ask: would it be appropriate for a Christian to decide to use these post-retirement years as a 20-year vacation? That is, should a Christian aspire to two decades of what the dictionary describes as a period of ‘pleasure, rest, and relaxation’? Should a ‘vacation’ that is ordinarily an intermission in life become the mission or, better, the non-mission of this stage in life? Would it be ethical if today’s youth aspire to take a 30-35 year vacation at the end of their life, not to mention the 85-year vacation for the person who supposedly will live to 150? It would be reassuring if for Christians these were merely rhetorical questions, eliciting the obvious answer that, ‘No, that is not what life is all about.’ Contemporary culture, however, typically provides no compelling social imagery for retirement. Without stronger social expectations, the results for all too many people are days and nights filled with TV dinners and TV shows, bread and circuses to occupy the elderly.”