In turning 56 this November, I have come to the realization that I am approaching the doorsteps of old age, and possible irrelevance. It seems as if old age is a curse to our society, a burden, and something to either hide from, shirking love and responsibility, or something that should be hidden away in a ‘home’ or exterminated in what is called, in supra-oxymoronic fashion, a mercy killing.
Now, a mercy killing could apply to a spaghetti Western cowboy shooting his horse if it was incurably ill or injured, deep in the isolated plains. But for a human being, mercy and killing cannot be mentioned in the same sentence without revealing either liberal lunacy or a severe lack of the logical ability to reason.
Basically the same thing.
Pope Francis has a lot to say about this. Toward the end of Chapter 5 of his ‘Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation,’ entitled ‘The Joy Of Love,’ ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ he states in clear, bold, unambiguous, Catholic language:
“‘Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent’ (Ps. 71:9). This is the plea of the elderly who fear being forgotten and rejected. Just as God asks us to be his means of hearing the cry of the poor, so too he wants us to hear the cry of the elderly. This represents a challenge to families and communities, since ‘the Church cannot and does not want to conform to a mentality of impatience, and much less indifference and contempt, toward old age.’ We must reawaken the collective sense of gratitude, of appreciation, of hospitality, which makes the elderly feel like a living part of the community. Our elderly are men and women, fathers and mothers, who came before us on our own road, in our own house, in our daily battle for a worthy life.”
Then the Pope stated emphatically:
“Indeed, ‘how I would like a Church that challenges the throw away culture by the overwhelming joy of a new embrace between young and old.”
Abortion deservedly gets all the headlines. But euthanasia, and the throw away mentality exercised in relation to our elderly, is an insidious evil. When cafeteria Catholics, and gospel-of-prosperity Evangelicals, vote for the Pro-Abortion political candidate, they vote for euthanasia and the elderly throw away mentality too.
Likewise, try being an unemployed 55 year old (like me), in the current workforce. It’s like being a leper in days gone by. Opportunities to find gainful employment are ‘slim pickins’ to say the least. All that’s left for a ‘seasoned’ guy like me is part-time, low paying, contingent work. Amazingly, with gray hair, my Masters degree, not to mention my life experience, is not worth 10.00 an hour!
And I’m not alone!
Furthermore, we live in a society which has serious disdain for aging. It is anathema to be anything other than young, and picture perfect, for this is a society which bases its morality and ethics on consumerism, and pop values.
Wisdom is devalued; cleverness, however dishonest, is supreme. History is devalued; revised tales of inclusiveness are the word of the day. Tradition is mocked; innovation, however petty and nonsensical, is all the rage. Old is nothing but old; young is life…unless, of course, you are unborn, and an inconvenience.
So, us-not-so-youngsters have solidarity with the unborn.
Since we’re both fighting for life!