Daily reflections for prayer, growth in the spiritual life, and good prayer sources. This blog also has links to other websites. One feature is a list of spiritual books.
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Thursday, June 28, 2007
Growing Old Gracefully
Yesterday, a lovely lady of 90 years took me and another friend to lunch. I thought afterwards that as long as I have known her from water exercise, keen Scrabble games, and our reflection group, she has been a living example of growing old gracefully. I guess I know many like that and lately have been thinking of how to grow old gracefully myself. There is a serenity, a peace, that communicates itself when I am with her and with others who have grown in wisdom and grace. It comes from reflection on the meaning of life - what really matters and what one can let go of as unimportant, trivial, and of no use when looking toward eternity. There is both detachment and an enthusiasm for what life gives us: the beauty of nature, the smile of a friend, the laughter of children, the companioning of others, the joy of good memories, etc. Lord, may I learn to grow old gracefully! May I focus on what is essential, learn eternal values, and let go of all the unimportant things. This life is too short to worry or fret about things that I cannot change but can accept with joy. Let me keep these remarkable elderly friends before my eyes as living examples of how to grow old gracefully.
Hello, my name is Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ. Those initials stand for Religious of the Sacred Heart in Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. Since my religious congregation began in France in 1800 and now is all over the world, we have kept the RSCJ. By now you know that I am not only known as Dr. Helen Rosenthal, but also as Sister Helen Rosenthal.
I am the oldest of four children. We were all born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. We lived in a big house with a playroom on the third floor. On Sundays we either went to my paternal grandmother's house where her six children would gather faithfully for supper or we would have my mother's father and our great aunt and uncle for a roast beef dinner at home. In summer, I would go to the lake with my Dad and I still love to swim.