A Season of Mystery, by Paula Huston

March 5, 2013

The curmudgeonly old are notorious for “close-mindedness, complaining, fear of change, obsessing about comfort and security, boredom, denial, resentment, judgmentalism, hoarding, and cursing an increasingly unfamiliar world.” But the latter years of life don’t have to be this way, and Huston points the reader in another direction. Drawing on her own experiences as a grandmother and Camaldolese oblate and the writings of Christian mystics, Huston introduces ten grace-filled practices that not only are antidotes to these stereotypical attitudes of the elderly but can actually enhance the aging process. For instance, the practice of delighting helps us to appreciate small things that may have escaped our attention earlier in life. Most important is the practice of memento mori: remembering we will die, which can actually help us accept death.