Growing old has its own set of peculiarities that seem to infiltrate my Lay Cistercian Way. Here are some observations from an old, temple of the Holy Spirit.

  1. There is a stage beyond retirement that I have slipped into. Before I was just retired, now I am only tired.
  2. People around me use words in different ways. I keep telling my wife that I do not have, at age 82, the stamina that I once had. She just called me lazy.
  3. I now pray as I can, not as I should.
  4. Prayer is not limited to a chronological time ( 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. for Liturgy of the Hours), but rather it is from the beginning of the day to its end. My day is a chance to tell God that I seek His will to be done in whatever comes my way.
  5. Abandonment has become more important to me in my old age. Letting go of everything except the love of Christ is my new quest.
  6. I realize that I used to go to Church to pray in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Now, I realize that my Temple of the Holy Spirit contains the Arc of the Covenant and I am in constant praise and adoration of the Father, through, with, and in Christ with the power of the Holy Spirit.
  7. I no longer waste my time trying to prove God (which humans can’t do), we can only try to discern God’s presence through Scripture, the Church’s Tradition, and HOPE in the resurrection to newness of life.
  8. As my body fails, my spirit seems to be expanding (capacitas dei), as I am faithful to “listening with the ear of the heart.”
  9. I realize that Church is not, nor ever was, a building or a set of rules for me to follow as if doing prayers was the depths of my devotion. I seek to penetrate the mystery of the martyrdom of ordinary living by transforming my view of what it means to be human using The Christ Principle as the key.
  10. I realize that there are six questions I must answer before I die. Christ provides not only the questions but is the way, leading to the truth, and ultimately the life as an adopted son (daughter) of the Father on earth while I live and continue on forever.
  11. Faith is a plunge into the ocean from a high cliff. Christ says, “You can jump, it is safe. I did it and you will come up from the water in the way that your human needs to fulfill its destiny as nature intended. Follow me. Do what I have taught you.”
  12. Faith without reason is unreasonable.
  13. Seek first, each day, the kingdom of heaven, and all else will be given to you.
  14. It is not how many times I pray or how many rosaries I recite that get me to heaven. It is using prayer to give glory to the Father, through the son, in union with the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages.
  15. I am the absolute worst person in the world when it comes to loving God as I should. I do penance and restitution for my past sins and failures to be what a human should be. With Christ, I can rise above all that.
  16. Faith is a process of trying, failing, succeeding, and failing. Original Sin is the condition whereby I am confronted by not only good but also false prophets and ways of thinking that seek to lead me astray.
  17. The Christ Principle is the center of my life, but I must spend the rest of my life trying to keep it as my center. I call that the Rule of Revolving Centers. Losing Faith means I stop the struggle to take up my cross to keep Christ as my center.
  18. “One thing I seek is to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
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