Gathered Wisdom, Aug 18

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.

Stillness is vital to the world of the soul. If as you age you become more still, you will discover that stillness can be a great companion. The fragments of your life will have time to unify, and the places where your soul-shelter is wounded or broken will have time to knit and heal. – John O’Donohue, from Anam Cara

This Week:

Cultivating Self-kindness

by Cindy Bunch

Asking yourself two simple questions could be the start of a daily examen without the guilt. Editor Cindy Bunch suggests a way to do the examination of conscience without moving to a place of shame, worry, and despair.

 Notice when you are bugged. That state­ment stopped me short as I was read­ing. The things that bug me can form a low hum in my brain through­out a day. They can spoil — or threat­en to spoil — the oth­er love­ly moments of the day.
Read Two Simple Questions for Cultivating Self-Kindness
FROM: Renovare

Midwives of Hope

by Fr. Ron Rolheiser

In many societies, it is the attendance of a midwife that brings a healthy baby into the world. The same can be said for a good midwife who can bring to life the trust and hope that sometimes get lost in our later years. We not only need midwives, we can be midwives in a world that has become skeptical and cynical.

Something inside us wants to trust, to hope, to believe in the goodness of things, to again feel that trustful enthusiasm we once had as a child, when we were innocent (and “innocent” means “unwounded”), when we could still take another’s hand in trust. No one wants to be outside the circle of trust.

But it’s a struggle, an agony of sorts, as we know. We’d like to trust, but often we can’t give birth to it. That’s where a midwife can be helpful.

Read Midwives of Hope
FROM Ron Rolheiser blog

Enlarging Your Perspective

by Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

The little boy on his first flight asked his mom when they would start getting smaller. After all, the airplanes he watched take off from the airport always got smaller as they moved across the sky.

Navigating life faithfully during the Coronavirus epidemic may be a huge challenge for you. Your experience of God may seem to be receding. Where do you look for the stability and permanence you need to navigate life not only in the best of times but in the worst of times? Here are several suggestions.

Read Enlarging Your Perspective
FROM Society of St John the Evangelist

The  Great Adventure Of Growing Older

A video with Carl Honore

Writer Carl Honore turned 50 and changed his mind about what it means to grow older. In this video, Honore looks at ways to combat ageism. 

Many of us have negative views about growing older, but in this insightful TED Talk, award-winning writer Carl Honore encourages us to adopt a new perspective. If we learn to view aging with excitement, wonder, and as one of life’s greatest adventures, we can look to our futures with hope and positivity.

Watch Why We Should View Growing Older as a Great Adventure
FROM Happify Daily

The Wisdom of Wild Grace – an online Weekend Retreat from Ireland

Oct. 3-4, 2020

With Christine Valters Paintner

This two-day virtual retreat over the Feast of St Francis will explore the gift of Earth as our original monastery. Live from Galway, Ireland, sessions will include presentations, reflections, song, meditations, poetry, creative exercises and explorations, gentle movement, small group and partner sharing, guidance for time outside in between sessions, and time for questions and input.

For details and registration
FROM Abbey of the Arts

Tell Your Story

NextAvenue, which defines itself as the “public media’s first and only national journalism service for America’s booming older population,” is looking for original essays with an insightful perspective on aging.  

In a first-of-its-kind initiative for Next Avenue, we would like to invite you, our readers, to tell your stories. From July 24 through August 31, readers age 50+ may submit a 500-word original essay focused on a topic or experience of your choosing. We’re looking for insightful essays that illuminate a truth or teach us something new.

About the essay contest
FROM Next Avenue

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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