Some cultures manifest a unique veneration for the elderly, honouring them as witnesses to the past and a source of wisdom for the present and the future. Other cultures set aside the elderly in unacceptable ways, causing suffering and spiritual impoverishment to the family.
The Church wishes everyone to discover the role of the elderly, particularly within the family.
The elderly help us to see the hierarchy of human values - the things that are most important set beside the things that are less important. They show us the continuity of generations and the interdependence of God's people. They often have a charism which can bridge generation gaps before they are made! How many children have found understanding and love from their elderly relatives, and how many elderly people have found the crowing of life's gifts in their children's children!