Gathered Wisdom, Sept 1

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.

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

September 18, 10 am to 4 pm

Two live teaching and sharing sessions
– 10 am to noon and 2 to 4 pm –
will be separated by a long break for individual reflection and response offline.

Our day will be constructed around prayer, teaching and sharing sessions, Q and A time, and small-group discussion. 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

Diving into the Deep

The religious searcher should be a diver through the deeps of ancient wisdom, seeking to bring up to the surface those concepts that can illuminate life today. Not all truth will be discovered in what is to come; some must be recalled from what has been forgotten. 

— David J. Wolpe in In Speech and In Silence: The Jewish Quest for God by David J. Wolpe

FROM Spirituality and Practice 

This Week

Sharing Wisdom

by the Rev. Ripp Hardaway

The Rev. Ripp Hardaway, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Braunfels, Texas, has some advice for us: Never test the depth of the water with both feet. He learned this, he says, from a wise elder. In fact, Hardaway believes we all have a lot of wisdom to pass on to the next generation and a lot to learn from the previous one.

One of the great gifts of those who possess wisdom is their willingness to share what they have gained by years of practice.  In many cultures there is a great awareness of the need to seek that personal connection seamlessly or organically.  Today we hire coaches, teachers, tutors and the like, and too often our wisdom is limited to those who can afford it.  I am not certain that this is working;  I am quite sure that it is costing us as a society when wisdom is not passed from one generation to another.

Read the entire essay.

FROM: This article was originally published in the magazine Moxie, winter/spring 2015 edition. Moxie is no longer in print. Thanks to Julie Chalk for sharing it. 

Hope in God

by Br David Vryhof, SSJE

Remember Corrie ten Boom and her book The Hiding Place? We all read it in the 1970’s. Brother David recalls her words just now as we struggle to navigate the challenges we find ourselves and our country in.

We can find courage to fight on in the examples of those who have gone before us. I’ve been reflecting recently on the words and wisdom of Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983), a Dutch Christian woman who, with her father and sister, helped Jews escape the Nazis during World War II by hiding them in their home. 

Read the essay

FROM Society of St. John the Evangelist 


by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI

Our culture does not give us permission – or time – to mourn. We are encouraged to move on, pull ourselves together, and cry quietly. Ron Rolheiser, president of Oblate Seminary in San Antonio TX, says that is damaging to our souls.

We have many things to mourn in life: We are forever losing people and things. Loved ones die, relationships die, friends move away, a marriage falls apart, a love we want but can’t have obsesses us, a dream ends in disappointment, our children grow away from us, jobs are lost, and so too one day our youth and our health. Beyond these many losses that ask for our grief there’s the need to grieve the simple inadequacy of our lives, the perfect symphony and consummation that we could never have. Like Jephthah’s daughter, all of us have to mourn our unconsummation.

Read the entire essay

FROM The blog of Ron Rolheiser

An Audio Meditation for These Days of Uncertainty

By Nathan Foster

An audio med­i­ta­tion led by Nathan Fos­ter to help us set our minds on what is good, beau­ti­ful, and true in the midst of uncertainty. This meditation was recorded in March, 2020, when the pandemic was just beginning and we knew not what was ahead. Six months later, we still don’t know.  Listen to the end to discover a beautiful compline prayer from the Northumbria Community. Nathan Foster is Director of Community Life at Renovare.

Listen to the meditation.

FROM Renovare

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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