… This past Sunday morning was abysmal. Cold, grey, and rainy. The kind of morning that begs for sleeping late. I laid there for awhile trying to will myself to get up out of bed and push past the beginnings of a migraine.
I had almost convinced myself that this little act of willful laziness was completely harmless and perfectly understandable. It was a headache, for crying out loud. Can’t go to mass with a headache.
And then I remembered him. The man at church that sometimes catches my eye. He’s hard to miss and ever so dashing in his impeccable suit. Just the kind of motivation a girl needs to drag her listless body from the covers.
The gentleman I refer to is an elderly Veteran who’s missing a leg. I see him from time to time, with his portable oxygen tank slung over his shoulder.
Like a boss. A serious boss.
I’m sure you’ve got similar motivation in your own parish. They’re there every week despite crippling arthritis, shuffling along behind their walkers or being wheeled in by a family member. These champions of fortitude. These witnesses to a lifetime of faith.
Yes, sometimes they whisper too loudly and can be fiercely territorial when it comes to “their pew”, but they’ve earned their place and I love to see them there every week. Don’t ever treat the elderly in your parish contemptuously. Love them.
If it weren’t for them, representing and showing us young folks how it’s done, I could easily talk myself out of attending mass for the slightest ailment. I’m that convincing. And that lazy. Mostly just lazy though.
Some people, and you know who they are, like to point to the elderly population of a parish as evidence that the Church is dying. Or at least that particular parish is. But don’t you listen to them. Everyone serves a purpose and anyone can be an example. Remember, we don’t go to mass for ourselves.
I just pray that when I get older I’ll be at least half as determined and devoted to my church and God as the dashing old gentleman that puts most young men to shame.