~ by Cindy Wooden, Catholic New Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Sunday, July 25th will be the first celebration of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.
Try a little tenderness. That’s basically how Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell summarized Pope Francis’ vision for what older people, their grandchildren and friends should do to change the world after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vatican as a whole is making a big deal out of the world day. The action focus is all about tenderness, too: Visit your grandparents and any older person living alone. Offer them a ride to mass. Take them a bouquet of flowers. And, for those who cannot go to church, take them the Eucharist.
Calling Catholics around the world to mark the day after “dramatic months of difficulty.” Pope Francis invites people to embrace tenderness, especially toward the elderly, who suffered so much during the pandemic.
The day is also about “the tenderness that grandparents show toward their grandchildren, especially in a time like the one we are living in, in which personal interaction has become rare.”
Cardinal Farrell said, “Tenderness is not just a private feeling, one that soothes wounds, but, a way of relating to others, which should be experienced in public. We have become accustomed to living alone, to not hugging each other, to considering the other as a threat to our health. Our societies, the Pope tells us in ‘Fratelli Tutti,” are now fragmented.”
“Tenderness has a social value, the Cardinal insisted. “It is a remedy we all need, and our elderly are those who can provide it.. In a frayed and hardened society emerging from the pandemic, not only is there a need for vaccines and economic recovery – albeit fundamental – but also for relearning the art of relationships. In this, grandparents and the elderly can be our teachers. This is also why they are so important.” To read the complete article, please click here