Franciscan

Don't just sit there!

Retirement is not life-giving if all we do is sit and bide our time. Rather, it invites us to stretch so that we do not shrivel. Stretching physically, emotionally, and spiritually is about getting up and going forth, as our health permits, from the sitting position to the position of seeking.

Seekers are likely to have more enjoyment than sitters, although if all we can do is sit, we can still find enjoyment because God does come to those who can only sit and wait. "Use it or lose it," we like to say. That may apply to our physical maintenance, our intellectual health, and our personal relationships. If we can read the words of wise men and women in their written testimonies of spiritual growth, then read. Of course, we may have some loss of eyesight, but we can also listen to stories of the spiritual life.

If we can maneuver ourselves to venues of social outreach, then we get up and go. If we can spend time and energy in church-related gatherings, we can preach the Gospel and give service either by word or our very presence. If we have relatives or acquaintances, we can get up and visit them.

No, we do not want to be invasive or intrusive, but we want and need to fulfill our own needs and serve their needs for intimate inter-personal relationships. We prepare for the intimacy with Sister Death by giving and receiving the intimacy of our present relationships.
Of course, at whatever friary we live, there are brothers who seek our listening ears and our affirming and encouraging presence and conversation for their intimacy needs.

–Fr. Dennet Jung, OFM for the Senior Friars Committee

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