by Henri Nouwen and Walter J. Gaffney
We are all aging. We are each a spoke on the great wheel of life, part of the ongoing cycle of growth. In Aging, Henri J.M. Nouwen and Walter J. Gaffney share some moving and inspirational thoughts on what aging means (and can mean) to all of us, whether we're in our youth, middle age, or later years.
Enhanced by some eighty-five photographs depicting various scenes from life and nature, this book shows how to make the later years a source of hope rather than a time of loneliness -- a way out of darkness into the light. "Aging," the authors write, "is not a reason for despair, but a basis of hope, not a slow decaying, but a gradual maturing, not a fate to be undergone but a chance to be embraced." And they remind us of our responsibility to incorporate the aged into the fabric of our own lives -- helping them become teachers again so they may help us repair the fragmented connections between generations.
Aging shows us all how to start fulfilling our lives by giving to others, "so that when we leave this world, we can be what we have given." It is a warm, beautiful, and caring book: a simple reaffirmation of the promise of Him, who by His aging and death brought new life to this world.
Henri J. M. Nouwen was a Catholic Priest who taught at several theological institutes and universities in his home country of the Netherlands and in the United States. He shared the final years of his life with people with mental and physical disablilities at L'Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada. He died in 1996. He authoried many books on the spiritual life including Reaching Out, The Wounded Healer, and The Return of the Prodigal Son.