We live in a rapidly aging society.  As health care budgets swell and tax dollars shrink, the senior members of our society — our elder brothers and sisters — become more and more vulnerable to abuse.  Yet, ironically, what the twelfth century French philosopher Bernard of Chartres noted of his contemporaries, we could say of our own:  we are “midgets standing on the shoulders of giants”.  If we live in a country which enjoys an extraordinary degree of peace and prosperity, if we worship God freely, it is largely because of those who have preceded us.  We build on the foundations laid by our seniors.  We owe them a debt of gratitude and what is more, we owe them the respect, the love and the support that is due every human person created in God’s likeness.