The desire for “eternal youth” and “unlimited well-being” is a delusional vanity according to Pope Francis
“We are apprentices of life, who – in the midst of a thousand difficulties – learn to appreciate God’s gift, honoring the responsibility to share it and make it fruitful for all,” he said.
“We’re flawed from the start, and we stay flawed until the end,” Francis added.
He explained that life is not meant “to be wrapped up in itself in an imaginary earthly perfection”.
Life “is destined to go beyond, through the passage of death — because death is a passage. Indeed, … our destination is not here, it is with the Lord, where he dwells forever,” the pope said.
With this reflection, Pope Francis concluded a cycle of catechesis on old age that he had begun in February.
Meanwhile, the 85-year-old pope has faced health issues that have limited his mobility, including a right knee injury.
For his last catechesis on old age, the pope walked slowly with the aid of a cane to the stage of the audience hall. He then waved to the crowd from a wheelchair.
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Pope Francis stressed that old age should be a time of “waiting” that brings us closer to the fulfillment of life in God.
“In the fulfillment of God’s promise, the relationship is reversed: God’s space, which Jesus prepares for us with the greatest care, is greater than the time of our mortal life. Therefore: old age brings hope closer to this fulfillment,” Pope Francis said.