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A reliance on God leads to spiritual agelessness

Spiritual agelessness, according to gerontologist Richard P. Johnson, is a faith-formed state of mind, heart and soul that renders people free from the more common psychological constraints of physical aging. "The primary driver of spiritual agelessness is the individual's deepening reliance on God, their advancing journey with Jesus, and their dependence on the mystery of the work of the Holy Spirit," he wrote.

Johnson will lead "Christ-Centered Outlook on Retirement: Discover the New You," a retreat Monday-Thursday, Nov. 6-9, at La Salle Retreat Center in Wildwood.

The program for those approaching retirement or already retired is designed to help people make their retirement meaningful and purposeful as they discover their strengths and challenges, as well as factors for spiritual growth. Prior to the workshop, participants will complete a retirement success profile measuring factors crucial for achieving personal success in retirement.

Founder of the Johnson Institute for Maturing Adult Faith Formation based in St. Louis, Johnson presents workshops in parishes, dioceses and religious communities across the United States and Canada. Johnson's work on the spiritual aspects of adult development and aging has inspired maturing adults to live more abundant lives in Christ. He has written 40 books focused upon God's expansive grace in the maturing years.

Johnson writes a blog, "Ageless in the Lord." He recently wrote a two-part answer to the question of "What is spiritual agelessness?" He listed descriptors of people who have adopted spiritual agelessness as their primary philosophy of life in their later years. Among other things, Johnson stated, a spiritually ageless person:

• Believes that the notion of age is irrelevant as a primary definer of self-identity.

• Has developed a positive spiritual strengths-based view of one's potential for living abundantly in the Lord.

• Has adopted a new perspective that reframes the meaning of personal events in more transcendent, rather than in strictly material terms.

• Adopts a strong belief in the active and positive work of the Holy Spirit as the prime motivating force for personally enhancing change.

• Leans on God to transform personal discomforts into opportunities for spiritual deepening.

• Sees physical diminishment not as personal tragedy but rather as an invitation for deeper inner peace.

• Emerges reconstituted and reconstructed from transitions precipitating loss.

• Is more open to the mystery of the work of the Holy Spirit as an active driver in life.

• Actively moves away from discouragement and disappointment and embraces a positive acceptance of life that leads to optimism, encouragement and helpfulness.

• Places a focus on the "big picture" of life rather than on fixating on lesser problems.

• Honors the maturation process, and especially the seasons of retirement and beyond, as gifts from God designed to help us know, love and serve God better. 

>> Retirement

WHAT: "Christ-Centered Outlook on Retirement: Discover the New You," a retreat

WHEN: Monday-Thursday, Nov. 6-9

WHERE: La Salle Retreat Center in Wildwood

TO REGISTER: Call (636) 938-5374 or visit www.lasallerereat.org 

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