Fr. John LaFarge, S.J. The Precious Gift of Old Age. Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2022. Paperback $14.95. Ebook $9.99. Available from the publisher.
People often talk about the art of growing old gracefully. Yet, in our fast-paced technological culture, senior citizens are often disregarded or perceived as a burden.
In The Precious Gift of Old Age, Fr. John LaFarge, S.J. champions benefits of elder years for the aging, their loved ones, and humanity. At age 84, Fr. LaFarge penned these reflections to help others develop ways to benefit from old age. “After all old age has its own meaning, like other phases of human life, and that the wisest thing we could do, when age crept up on us, would be to explore that meaning and to adopt some general plan of action, so as really to profit by it.”
This book covers a range of topics from Growth-through-Diminishment, Our Steadfast Hope, and The Power of Love, to Society’s Responsibility and Courage in Old Age.
Additionally, Fr. LaFarge includes examples from the saints about how old age presents new opportunities and privileges, and explains how it can be a time of great strength, beauty, and resurrection.
Included in this book are practical strategies on:
· Choosing the best living arrangement
· Offering wisdom and talents
· Ways younger generations can care for their elders
· Creating a civilization where old age is respected and protected
The embracing of old age also affords more time for quiet communion with our Lord and contemplation, as well as occasions to reach out to others and help provide for their spiritual needs. Readers will discover how the elderly aid in the work of redemption. They will find spiritual tips on how members of different generations can strengthen each other on the road to eternity.
Fr. LaFarge shares that “it is our aim to enable the aged to enjoy each other’s company and the company of their younger citizens, if we have in mind the planning and organizing of a fuller and richer life.”
Among many healing benefits that come from aging, Fr. LaFarge notes an attitude of thankfulness that leads to joy and attracts others to the faith. “I believe that old age is a gift, a very precious gift, not a calamity. Since it is a gift, I thank God for it daily,” reflected Fr. LaFarge.
Members of the media may send an email to Sophia Institute Press’ Director of Publicity, Sarah Lemieux at slemieux@SophiaInstitute.com to receive a physical or digital copy of The Precious Gift of Old Age and/or to schedule an interview with their spokesperson.