Gathered Wisdom, Aug. 11

A weekly collection of inspiration and resources for the journey, gathered from websites, books, and pass-alongs that have been shared with us. From Spirituality in the Wisdom Years.

As we come to know our soul gift more clearly, we almost always have to let go of some other “gifts” so we can do our one or two things with integrity. Such letting go frees us from always being driven by what has been called the “tyranny of the urgent.”  Soon urgency is a way of life, and things are not done peacefully from within. What if we choose to simply do one or two things wholeheartedly in our lives? That is all God expects and all we can probably do well. Too much good work becomes a violence to ourselves and, finally, to those around us.

Let’s just use our different gifts to create a unity in the work of service (Ephesians 4:12–13), and back one another up, without criticism or competition. Only in our peaceful, mutual honoring do we show forth the glory of God.

FROM: Richard Rohr Daily Meditations, July 27, 2020. 

This Week:

Gate A-4

By Naomi Shihab Nye  

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye, who lives in San Antonio, made a new friend in the Albuquerque airport, a friend who spoke only Arabic.  Read the lovely story of cultures coming together. “This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost,” concludes Nye. 

“Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning
my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement:
‘If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please
come to the gate immediately.’
Well—one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.”
Read the rest of the essay.

FROM: Kolbe Times. 
Find more poetry, essays, and conversations with Joan Chittister, Brian McLaren, Ron Rolheiser, Richard Rohr, and others at Kolbe Times. Subscribe to receive their free magazine. 


By Br. James Koester SSJE

We are in a time of not knowing – not knowing what the future will look or when. All we can do is take one step at a time. Or even just creep along.

“There had been moments during the week when I could not imagine it was possible for me to walk another 40, or 30, or 20 miles. What I could imagine, was taking one more step. And so I did. And then another. And another. And another. That week was full of single steps.” Read the rest of the essay

FROM: Society of St. John the Evangelist

A Baptism for the Final Stage of Growth

By Caryl Ann Cosbon

Elaborate preparations are usually made during pregnancy for the new life to come. For Christians, that includes planning for the baby’s baptism. “What might be the equivalent of baptism on the other end of life’s continuum?” asks writer Caryl Ann Casbon.

“The dying often experience major spiritual and relational breakthroughs, even up to the last days of life, when defenses drop and hearts break open. Hospice professionals compare dying to the birth process and helping someone with dying as similar to the role of the midwife assisting at the birth of a baby.” Download the rest of the essay.

FROM: A resource from Center for Courage and Renewal. See their Aging with Wisdom program for upcoming retreats.

Letting Go of False Fear

It has taken him 50 years to get over his fear of God, says Ron Rolheiser, now president of Oblate Seminary in San Antonio. 

“I’m a cradle Catholic, born to wonderful parents, catechized by some very dedicated teachers, and I’ve had the privilege of studying theology in some of the best classrooms in the world. Still it took me fifty years to rid myself of a number of crippling religious fears and to realize that God is the one person of whom you need not be afraid. It’s taken me most of my life to believe the words that come from God’s mouth over three hundred times in scripture and are the initial words out of the mouth of Jesus whenever he meets someone for the first time after his resurrection: Do not be afraid!” Read the rest of the essay.  

FROM: Ron Rolheiser blog. 

Resources to Combat Loneliness

Books, films, and practices that speak to and help alleviate loneliness. 

FROM: Spirituality and Practice

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at

Gathered Wisdom is from Spirituality in the Wisdom Years, a ministry that invites older adults to deepening spirituality in the last third of their lives. If someone forwarded this to you, learn more about Spirituality in the Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at


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