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Posted February 1, 2014

Book: In This Life: Spiritual Growth and Aging
Author: Leo E. Missinne
Liguori. Liguori, Missouri. 2013. Pp. 111

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Continue your spiritual journey and live a life of wisdom, grace and joy.

"Life belongs to the order of mystery," says Leo E. Missinne, an expert on spirituality and aging, "and only a thoughtful attitude permits access to mysteries." Throughout In This Life: Spiritual Growth and Aging, Missinne shows you how to discover --- or rediscover --- meaning in your life. He will help you reflect with purpose and turn your focus from the choices and circumstances that helped to create your present to the possibilities before you.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The Importance of Values

Viktor Frankl was of the opinion that men and women succeed in giving meaning to their life in terms of the values they attribute to it. These are the values that make their life significant and often explain their behavior. Frankl distinguishes three important categories of values: creative, experiential, and attitudinal.

When someone wants to carry out something in his or her life, like writing a book, building a house, recruiting a group of volunteers, organizing a celebration, painting, playing music, or studying, that person carries out values of creativity. In other words, a person has to do something --- create something --- to find meaning in life. . . .Living an active life serves the purpose of giving opportunities to realize values through creative work --- through making a new creation.

. . .Experiential values are lived by knowing a single human being in all his or her uniqueness. But in a more general way, the pursuit of goodness, truth, and beauty also provides fertile ground for the flowering of these values, as well as a feeling of fulfillment. If someone has become unique, incomparable, and irreplaceable in your eyes, the experience of such love gives ample reason to want to continue living. Reciprocal love between a man and a woman gives deep meaning to the lives of many and gives them the courage to continue to live, in spite of everything.

. . .Frankl illustrates attitudinal value theory with a story that is filled with wisdom for older people. A doctor friend had come to consult him because he could not come to terms with the loss of his wife. In the course of the conversation, Frankl asked him if he would have preferred that his wife survive him and that she endure the suffering and mourning. His friend answered at once, "I would never want her to suffer what I suffer now. It was better that she die first." Format that moment, the mourning of that man took on a meaning, and his suffering became a love offering that permitted him to resume life with courage and confidence.

Table of Contents:

1. In search of the meaning of life

2. Living and suffering

3. Looking for the meaning of suffering

4. Reflections on Christian spirituality in older age

5. How to develop your spirituality in old age

6. Conclusion

7. Ten commandments for a successful old age

8. Prayers and prose