Maturation never seems to end.
160. Adults, too, have to mature without losing the values of youth. Every stage of life is a permanent grace, with its own enduring value. The experience of a youth well lived always remains in our heart. It continues to grow and bear fruit throughout adulthood. Young people are naturally attracted by an infinite horizon opening up before them.[Cf. Romano Guardini, Die Lebensalter. Ihre ethische und pädagogische Bedeutung, Würzburg, 3rd ed., 1955, 20]
A message for those past their youth:
Adult life, with its securities and comforts, can risk shrinking that horizon and losing that youthful excitement. The very opposite should happen: as we mature, grow older and structure our lives, we should never lose that enthusiasm and openness to an ever greater reality. At every moment in life, we can renew our youthfulness.
A personal note
When I began my ministry as Pope, the Lord broadened my horizons and granted me renewed youth. The same thing can happen to a couple married for many years, or to a monk in his monastery. There are things we need to “let go of” as the years pass, but growth in maturity can coexist with a fire constantly rekindled, with a heart ever young.
The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation on this link at the Vatican site.
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