We go through three major phases of growth and discipleship during our lives. Early on in life, we struggle to get our lives together. During our generative years, we struggle to give our lives away. Later on in life, we struggle to give our deaths away. This journey, the final stage of our lives, is what mystics call “the dark night of the spirit”. How do we do this so that our aging and death becomes our final gift to our loved ones? How do we age and die gracefully and fruitfully?
Ronald Rolheiser, a Roman Catholic priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, is an internationally renowned speaker and spiritual writer. His award-winning weekly column “In Exile” is carried by more than seventy newspapers worldwide. He is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. Rolheiser is among the most popular and inclusive spiritual writers today. Although rooted in the Catholic faith, he is able to transcend denominational boundaries and religious language to appeal to both practicing Christians and unaffiliated seekers.