From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Elder Caritas: Applicable to all

(Photo by Marsyas)
If you're not quite sure what the word "elder" means, try looking in the mirror.  No matter what your present age might be, you are surely older in this moment than you were five minutes ago.  That literally makes you an "elder" version of your earlier self (at least within this time/space continuum).

Now that we've got that straightened out, perhaps you can better understand why information about elders pertains to us all. Whether you're 18 or 80, the sands of your hourglass are shifting.  It seems therefore important to begin discovering those "reset buttons" that can help make aging a fulfilling process.

As for caritas?  That's a bit harder to fathom since it extends beyond time and space.  To give you an idea of its vastness, here's a quote from 1 John 4:8: Deus est caritas (Latin for "God is love").  Although many have tried to relegate Saint Paul's use of the word caritas in 1 Corinthians 13 to weddings and valentines, it is often better translated as "charity" than as "love."  Paul's famous declaration would then read, "But the greatest of these [three virtues of faith, hope and charity] is charity [caritas]."

We're not talking about checkbook charity, or even about out-of-pocket dollars to homeless individuals. We are instead talking about a caritas that includes the love of God, neighbor, and sacred self.  This reverent approach to God and Creation is one that has been traditionally offered to society's elders.  Learning to once again appreciate the wisdom and experience of our collective ancestors (both living and dead) is what "Elder Caritas" is all about.


Copyright February 23, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment