Gathered Wisdom, Aug 25

Register Now for our online workshop/retreat:
Pilgrims Traveling Together in the Last Third of Life

September 18, 10 am to 4 pm

Our day will be constructed around prayer, teaching sessions, Q and A time, and small-group discussion. Two live teaching sessions – 10 am to noon and 2 to 4 pm – will be separated by a long break for individual reflection and response offline. This is a day of coming together in community to share the blessings and challenges of being an older adult.

For details and to register

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.

And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
will make of you tomorrow (that is to say, 
grace and circumstances acting on your own good will.)
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
excerpted from Hearts on Fire

From the website of Ignatian

When is Our Life Fulfilled?

by Fr. Ron Rolheiser

One of the questions of aging is “Am I finished? Have I done all I am going to do? Was it enough?” Fr. Ron Rolheiser insists that aging includes giving off our “seed” for the benefit of those who come after us.

But when [aging] is seen in the light of Jesus’ life, we see that in our fading out, like a flower long past its bloom, we begin to give off something of more value than the attractiveness of the bloom. 

Read the full essay

FROM Fr. Ron Rolheiser blog

Volunteer Opportunities in Your Area of Interest

The August 2020 edition of Sage-ing International’s newsletter is not only devoted to activism, it also offers information about dozens of social-action organizations. The list is categorized by areas of interests, such as peace, literacy, and inclusiveness.

This issue is meant to offer two gifts: It demonstrates to all of us that strong, determined people are working on every front to resolve the problems that break our hearts. It lights the path by which we can join allies in working to better our world.

We need all hands on deck to address our humanitarian and environmental crises; happily, we humans have a profound need to feel useful. We hope this list is useful in lighting a path to the activism you want to take.

Read the newsletter

FROM Sage-ing International

How Gratitude Breaks the Chains of Resentment

An excerpt from Henri Nouwen’s book Spiritual Formation suggests that ministry is about offering our own human brokenness to a world that needs a word of hope. When we minister out of our weakness, says Nouwen, we get more than we give. 

True lib­er­a­tion is free­ing peo­ple from the bonds that have pre­vent­ed them from giv­ing their gifts to oth­ers. This is true not only for indi­vid­ual peo­ple but also — par­tic­u­lar­ly — for cer­tain eth­nic, cul­tur­al, or mar­gin­al­ized groups. What does mis­sion to the Indi­ans or Boli­vians or dis­abled per­sons real­ly mean? Isn’t it fore­most to dis­cov­er with them their own deep reli­gios­i­ty, their pro­found faith in God’s active pres­ence in his­to­ry, and their under­stand­ing of the mys­tery of nature that sur­rounds them?

Read the excerpt

FROM Renovare

Unlikely Pen Pals Form a Special Bond

An idea for churches: match elders with youngsters and encourage a friendship online or with written letters. That’s what one retirement center did.

Addie Fenster, 7, and Gary Melquist, 73, both felt lonely due to the isolation caused by coronavirus. Gary’s retirement home connected him with Addie and they became pen pals. The pair swap letters and artwork, and have formed a very unlikely, but very sweet, special friendship.

Watch the video of these two new friends.

FROM Happify Daily

Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist online retreat

A 12-week companion retreat to The Artist’s Rule (in community)              
September 7 – November 28, 2020
with Christine & John Valters Paintner

Many have enjoyed the book The Artist’s Rule. Enjoy it again or for the first time in an online course.

Lots of new content including a weekly live webinar with Christine and a weekly scripture reflection from John.
For details and to register.

DROM Abbey of the Arts

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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