Should we not once again realize and admit to one another that no age should be a cause of shame for us if we accept it interiorly and live it as it should be lived? Should we not, at this jucture of time past and time renewed, learn once again that to be what we should be we need the fullness of the time allotted to us from childhood to old age? Should we not – each of us – try to accept with better grace the entire span of our human ife and to find tolerance – no, recognition – for the time of life other people are experiencing because we know that all of us have something to give one another?
To state the matter more concretely, let us ask ourselves what a world and a Church would be like without the cheerful, guileless, and infeigned by a premature puberty as is so often the case today. What would a world and a Church be like without the urgent restlessness and questioning of young people as they strive toward their future? What would they be like without the strength and determination of those who are at the height of their powers? What would they be like without the mature experience, the quiet patience, and the resigned serenity of the elderly? And what would all of us be like without trust in one another, without the readiness to see and accept one another as we are?
At this time, when the future is our dominant concern and when, for that very reason, we would like to stop the clocks at a definite time, perhaps the most important thing we can do is, by far, to learn to say Yes to older people and to our own growing old and, in doing so, to accept time and the future.
From: Dogma und Verkungdigung, pp. 400-401