Pope Francis pictured leading Regina Coeli Prayer from the window of his office overlooking Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City, April 24, 2022. In his Wednesday General Audience, Francis said the elderly should embrace their frailty as a new way of following Christ. Vatican media handout photo/EPA-EFE
June 22 (UPI) -- During his Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on old age, urging elderly people to embrace frailty as a way to begin a new way of following Christ.
"Your following will have to learn to allow itself to be instructed and moulded by your frailty, your helplessness, your dependence on others, even in dressing, in walking," said the Pope.
Pope Francis ensured the elderly that their "forcibly inactive act of following" the Lord will become "the best part of their lives."
In old age, Francis said, people learn to bear consistent witness in the conditions of a life largely entrusted to others.
The Pope said the elderly should not be envious of the young who will outlive them.
"The honor of their faithfulness to their sworn love, their fidelity to following the faith they have believed, even in the conditions that bring them nearer to the moment of taking leave of life, is their title of admiration for the generations to come and of grateful recognition from the Lord," said Francis.
Francis' General Audience Wednesday highlighted passages from John's Gospel on the relationship with Jesus, dealing with old age and the passage of time.
Jesus warned Peter, Francis said, "When you were young you were self-sufficient, when you are old you will no longer be so much the master of yourself and your life."
Francis said you have to be a witness to Jesus even in weakness, illness and death.
"Learning to take leave:This is the wisdom of the elderly," Francis said. "But to say farewell well, carefully, with a smile, to take one's leave in society, to take one's leave with others. The life of the elderly is a farewell, slow, slow, but a joyful farewell: I have lived life, I have kept my faith."