ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Celebrating 50 years | God • World • Human Family • Church

Towards Evening

This piece has been excerpted from Towards Evening, a book on Faith and Aging published by Sheed and Wards in 1995.

When Jesus, Who had walked beside His disciples on the way to Emmaus, seemed about to leave them, they urged, “Stay with us, for it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent.” And He went in with them. It is towards evening for me. I am very tired, and although I am not yet considered old, I face the fact that old age is not far off, and I beg our Lord to stay with me and let me end in quiet prayer a life that has hitherto been active…

Tonight, beginning this new journal that may last into my own old age, I see, in my mind’s eye, my mother deafened, somewhat crippled, very frail and weary, sitting in a rocking chair in her corner, her New Testament and her rosary beads in her hand. Naturally venturesome, fearless, ambitious in her youth, there was no horse too wild for her, no fence too high; and her intrepidity during her years of bringing up a family was remarkable; but, once she became convinced that her active life was at an end, that her practical means of serving was through prayer, she prayed. St. John’s words remind me of her, and of many other old people:

My soul has employed itself. And all my possessions, in his service: Now I guard no flock nor have I now other office. For now my exercise is in loving alone.

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