Pope Francis spoke about the value of stepping away, and of knowing when to leave space for younger generations during his General Audience.
Learning when to step away: this is the wisdom of the elderly. But taking leave well, with attention, with a smile, to step back in society, with others. The life of elderly people is a stepping down, slow, but a happy farewell. “I’ve lived my life, I’ve kept my faith.”
The elderly should not be envious of the young who go their own way, who occupy our place, who outlast us.
After weeks of unconfirmed rumors of a possible papal resignation due to his limited mobility, Pope Francis used himself as an example during his catechesis on old age.
When you were young, you were self-sufficient, when you are old you will no longer be so in control of your life. Look at me, I have to go around in a wheelchair! But that’s how life is, with old age we have all these ailments and need to accept them as they come, we’re not as strong as the young.
After citing St. Ignatius of Loyola, who said to bear witness to Jesus in life even as it comes to an end, the Pope once again insisted on the need to accept the limits of old age.
Always follow Jesus, on foot, running, or slowly, in a wheelchair, always follow him, including in the limited states of weakness and old age.
Jesus is not like that sugary image in the little pictures. Jesus is at our hand, He is close to us.
During his greetings, the Pope expressed his solidarity with Afghanistan and the victims of an earthquake that hit the southeastern portion of the country. He also expressed his sadness at the murder of two Jesuits and a layperson in a Church in Mexico, and urged those present not to forget about the war in Urkaine.