Aging Grace

grace_logo_whitebackOf course, things and events have different meanings for us as we age. Youngsters absorb like a sponge and oldsters squeeze out what life’s either given or what we’ve contributed to it. Where do the fruits of grace fit into life’s picture?

Leave it to the Catholics to divide up a good thing instead of keeping it mysteriously whole. The Church has “actual” and “sanctifying” types of grace. Sanctifying is received through the seven sacraments, and actual comes out of living a worthwhile life (or attempting to live a worthy life). Both emanate from our Creator like the “dewfall” which the priest says during Mass. Dewfall is an apt word for this mysterious substance that fills us up when life is affirmative and carries us through life’s doubtful or dark episodes.

Who created the concept of grace? Grace’s founder doesn’t matter to me, only that grace as matter, matters. It matters because it is another indication that God is present in our world. This invisible and omnipotent presence is present among us even if through the mystery. The same is true about angels. Perhaps it’s the angels that drop the dewfalls of grace upon us throughout our lives?

A ninety-three-year-old friend of mine told me how grace becomes more remarkable as we age. Grace-filled oldsters never lose the imagination of youngsters. We just sometimes forget. Possibly oldsters senses can be heightened through grace’s power. One author said it’s a deliberate activity as we age to become more observing and inquisitive. What came naturally in youth needs to be sharpened and reminded to the rest of us. “Been there, done that” has no room in an older adult disposition. You can exclude, “It is what it is” as well.

Instead, a heightened sense of sense emerges. The next time you return from a mall try to recall as many people as you can. Where were they when you spotted them? What color blouse was she wearing? Did his shoes match his suit? Where was outside light the brightest in the mall? What odors did you sense walking past the cosmetic counters? Who looked at you while walking and who ignored you?

Your visit to the mall now becomes a grace-filled experience. Don’t restrict grace to only “churchy” stuff but all of the stuff of life. The Blessed Mother Mary was full of it, and we can fill ourselves with it as well. A mall’s visit can be as spiritual as a church’s religion. Both contain the absence and abundance of this mysterious substance that fills our entire lives with optimism and hope. It is grace in all its graceful displays.

Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS. All available on
“Soulful Muse,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons
of Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
“Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of letters written by my cats over twenty years
“Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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1 Response to Aging Grace

  1. says:

    Hi Joe, How are things going? I do read all of your postings. I just don’t reply to each one. Sunday at Annie’s? Mary


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