The Joy of Aging


In September I will be 76.  Overall I’m fortunate to be in good health,  but in the past year like an old house or used car, I’ve needed a few repairs. Cataract surgery last August, and vein surgery on a leg this May prove I need some “body work.”

A woman told me several years ago that she thought human beings were never meant to live this long.With advances in medicine those of us fortunate enough with access to medical care, can receive treatments hitherto unknown in past centuries.

There must be some meaning to living longer than most of our ancestors. God is not finished with our earthly  journey here yet. As a person of faith it seems to me that as we get older, we have the potential of becoming the person God created us to be.

Hopefully that will be more generous with our example, and life experience. Sometimes elderly people can appear more childlike and humble. Not always of course. We can also be short tempered and judgmental.

My goal as a gay catholic man with loads of life experience, is to be available for anyone who wants to be seriously heard. There is a need for listening. Hopefully we will take time to provide that open ear and heart, and maybe even experience.


John Montague earned his Master of Divinity from Regis College, University of Toronto. He is an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. He has a Master of Social Work, and, until his retirement, provided counselling to individuals, couples, and families. For seventeen years he organized a Day of Reflection for Catholic parents of lesbian daughters, gay sons, and transgendered children.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 01:19h, 26 August Reply

    Thank you John!

  • Vicky Chen
    Posted at 05:37h, 26 August Reply

    May you continue to age gracefully and be a witness to God’s love for those around you. An old pastor told me that there must be a reason for God to extend his ‘Visa’. This year he will be 91, still listening to phone calls, still giving his gentle advice.
    Isn’t it wonderful to suddenly have 20/20 vision again? Let’s give thanks for everything- good or bad.

  • Catherine von Zuben
    Posted at 14:57h, 26 August Reply

    Thanks John for this well written article. I certainly hope that there are many out there who accept your invitation to be heard. A good listener had always been difficult to find. My wonderful experience with having a Spiritual Director changed my prayer life and depth of spirituality immensely and that indeed is what they do – they listen. Wait until you are my age and you just might not entitle your submissions with “The Joy of Aging”. However I, like you, very much appreciate the gift of every day and the wonderful health system we Canadians enjoy. Continue to be well.

  • Caroline Maloney
    Posted at 15:01h, 27 August Reply

    Thank you so much, John, for your reflection on ageing! I just had my 75th birthday….still in denial and having trouble opening those last few cards! A few physical minor adjustments along the way, i.e. glaucoma, etc., but otherwise healthy, thanks to good medical care we are so fortunate to have here in Canada. I too ask the good Lord about my purpose, now, so I try to smile a lot, and help where/when I can. But being “joyful” about this ageing process is not so easy some days! Thank you for sharing your journey!

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