Eugene’s musings about his 60th birthday and age need no commentary today.
August 1: Nothing special today except that I finish my 59th year. This is how we approach the end almost without even noticing it. We grow older one day at a time, but then comes the anniversary that reminds you that you are older by a year, and each year the number grows and eventually surprises you because in this rapid progression nothing seemed changed, neither in the strength of the body nor in the mind.
If the mirror had been consulted, it could have called one’s attention to the irreparable ravages of the years, but I use this piece of furniture only to hastily get rid of an unwelcome beard; besides, the mirror shows you nearly as you were the day before and who is going to reflect on the more orless beauty, more or less freshness of one’s face. And so I fall into the sixties. It would almost be better not to know it, because it seems that is the end of life, and then where to find the courage to do something? It takes an effort of the will, powerfully stimulated by the grace of God.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 1 August 1841, EO XX