Sunday 17 October 2021

Faith in Age - Adrian Lickorish - How To Keep the Faith In Our Later Years

Faith in Age: 
How To Keep the Faith In Our Later Years
Adrian Lickorish
ISBN 9781784695637
eISBN 9781784695637
CTS Booklet 

Over the last few years, I have read over 200 volumes from the Catholic Truth Society. And almost always when I read one I find one or two more I want to read, and have a wish list over 200 books long as well. This is the first I have read by Adrian Lickorish, and it appears to be one of four published by the CTS from his pen. It also appears that this booklet is only available electronically. I cannot find any evidence that there was ever a print edition of this volume. The description of this booklet is:

“This booklet is intended to encourage the elderly in their Christian faith. It addresses the wisdom and temptations of old age, the new and valuable role of the elderly; thankfulness, nurturing faith, hope, humility and fortitude, and growing in charity. Age draws us closer to God, through prayer, and the reassurance that faith brings, encouraging reconciliation, forgiveness, and great internal peace in the face of sickness, death, judgement and the promise of heaven. Practical and spiritual encouragement stems from the prayer, reflection, illustration and commentary drawn from rich and varied sources.”

I am a little younger than the intended audience for this volume. As often in makes reference to living faith in retirement and later years. But I am fast approaching it. A few yeas back I read a book after fitness in your 50’s and wished I had read it in my mid 40’s to start applying the lessons and wisdom it contained. I was hoping for the same with this volume. Some sage advice that I could grow into as I approach my 60’s and beyond. I have mixed feeling about the volume. The first two sections are excellent. But I felt the third section was a little blah, and Appendix on prayers was lackluster to say the least. All that section continued was two types of prayers and no specific prayers or recommendations for prayer books. Of which there are many including several from the CTS. The sections in the booklet are:

Section A: Introduction
     1. A new rank, a new role
Section B: The Role of the Elder
     2. Change
     3. Thankfulness
     4. Faith, hope and charity
     5. Will
     6. Mission and prayer
     7. Closer to God
Section C: The Reassurance of Faith
     8. Forgiveness
     9. Peace
     10. Death
     11. Purgatory
     12. Heaven
Appendix: Prayers

In some ways this booklet read more as an academic work, an essay for a Religious Studies Class, than written for an aging audience. We are told in the section on the aim of the booklet that:

“Each chapter is divided into four parts: a biblical quote; a prayer; a reflection; and a commentary.”

And there is a wide range in size for each section. Though they all seem to shrink by the third section of the book. When I read a book like this I often have many highlights and footnotes I have added in my Kindle app. I had highlighted 14 passages my first time through, but they were all before the halfway mark in the book. A sampling of them are:

“As ever, great things are not achieved lightly. We face challenges to our faith in old age. We face pain and apprehension. We face a natural decline in confidence as our powers wane.”

“In our lives, in Britain, we have seen a decline in the number of Catholic priests, fewer church services, smaller congregations. There appears a widening gap between traditional Catholic teaching and the law and culture of modern Britain.”

“Even in old age, perhaps especially in old age, maintaining our faith enables us to be missionaries, counsellors, examples and prayer warriors.”

“Much that was well known is now forgotten. Much we could essay is now beyond us. We lack the strength, the agility, the boldness, the stamina and enthusiasm. We cannot work or play as of old.”

“We need to retain the resolve we showed in our trade, profession or vocation of earlier years. How we live now, our pattern of prayer, hope, unselfishness and charity, will influence others.”

“Our later years are not times to give up the fight. Of course our mental and physical powers will decline; but there is no reason for our spiritual power and commitment to lessen. We must remain conscious of the need to preserve our will in relation to our faith and to our spiritual power.”

“We aid our progress on our spiritual path by what we see, what we hear and what we do. Prayer, alms (where would Church charities be without our financial support?), fasting (which need not be absolute to be effective) all take us forward.”

This book is worth the price even if you just read the first two sections. He lays a good groundwork. Builds upon it. And then sort of leave the house unfished. But even an unfinished house can provide some protect and is of worth. It is an interesting volume. And a great beginning. I just wished it had finished as well as it began.

I gave this book 4/5 stars because the first two sections are excellent. And as such I can recommend if you are aging, pushing retirement or already there, or have friends and family at that stage of life this book could be of value. The writing is good enough I have his three other volumes on my “to be read” pile.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Adrian Lickorish:
Is Jesus God?: Examining the Evidence
Reasons to Believe: Does God Exist?
How to Enter Heaven

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