b'Chapter Five-The Great Opportunity of Middle AgeI was reading a demographic study theWe may have hit a snag or two atof ones middle that sometimes comes other day and much to my surprise, Iwork. We may have a disabled or dyingwith those 40 to 60 years. We slow down found that I am actually on the tailmarriage; and for some, divorce hasa bit, we are less attentive to our physical end of middle age! Most standards andbecome a reality. If we have children,health and, in time the pants or dress measurements define middle age as 40 by now, the innocence of childhood isthat used to fit does not anymore!to 60 years of age. gone for most of them and we face theThe same is often true of spiritual There are some great things aboutprospect of older teens and young adultsmiddle age. We can begin to believe this season of life. By now, many aremoving through the kinds of challengeswe have done all the Churchy ensconced in careers, adult relationships,most of us faced. With that, we see somethings one doesconfirmation, some interests and hobbies. If marriage wasof our own hopes and dreams break. volunteering, perhaps marriage, part of lifes journey, then most are Do we need to really be tending to ourperhaps baptismand now it is a good well into that journey, and some areChurch life at this stage of the game?season to rest on the laurels we have enjoying the blessings of children Havent we heard about all there is tocollected. Well, as our mid-sections can and grandchildren. hear? Learned about all there is to learn?become flabby with self-indulgence or Not all middle-aged persons haveThe answer is at this stage of life, we mayinattentionso can our souls. Now is the arrived, but for most the shape andneed the Church more than ever. If weseason of life when trusting in our Lord patterns of adult lives are almost, if notbelieve we have arrived spiritually, thenbecomes all the more crucial.fully, formed. we have failed to understand that Why trust Even More Now?a disciples shaping never ends. There are some tough things aboutThe late Brennan Manning (d. 2013) middle age. This is often the season of We have all heard the words middle- wrote in his book, Ruthless Trust,life when health issues may begin. aged spread. It applies to that widening 18'