"Rejoice, O young man, while you are young and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come" (Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:8). In this section of his book Ecclesiastes speaks of the pains of old age, again, as we come to expect from him, with quite a bit of sorrow. This might have been sharpened for him by the uncertainty and lack of hope he and his contemporaries had about afterlife. While poets have spoken of how the best was yet to come, in old age, that is, many an aging person has felt more like Ecclesiastes. The best has been.
The author speaks of the years to come when one will say, "I have no pleasure in them." He lists the hazards of old age in metaphorical language: failing sight and hearing, shaky limbs. "One fears height, and perils in the street." Those kids racing by on skateboards, the too-quickly changing traffic lights. As so often, Ecclesiastes by its presence in the Bible gives us permission to feel some melancholy about aging, even some irritation. For most of us, old age, if it means anything new, means new pains, new ills, new difficulties even as we might enjoy other aspects. Experience shows us what good God can draw out of the pains and worries of old age. What generosity and kindness one's old age can bring forth in the young and healthy. United to Christ in baptism and the Eucharist we share in the power that transformed His pain and death into joy and resurrection.
— Don Talafous OSB