Approaching old age need not be a thing to be feared. It can and should be a time of freedom and spiritual contentment. Our biblically allotted lifespan is 'three score year and ten, or eighty if we are strong'. Even today, this is probably about right for many. The decade between 70 and 80 is an important opportunity to reflect on the meaning of life. The author, a Roman Catholic priest in his 70s, illustrates the freedom that comes from his lifelong experience of obedience, poverty and celibacy. He argues that we are all more obedient, poor and celibate than we usually care to admit. We came into the world innocent of power, money or sex. We should able to leave it freely - ready and without dependence on political, financial or sexual status.