A weekly collection of inspiration and resources for the journey, gathered from websites, books, and pass-alongs that have been shared with us. From The Wisdom Years – Spirituality for the Last Third of Our Lives.
Since Einstein, we have learned that there is no center; or alternatively, that any point is as good as any other for observing the world…. There are no privileged locations. If you stay put, your place may become a holy center, not because it gives you special access to the divine, but because in your stillness you hear what might be heard anywhere. All there is to see can be seen from anywhere in the universe, if you know how to look; and the influence of the entire universe converges on every spot.
— Scott Russell Sanders in Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World by Scott Russell Sanders
To Practice This Thought:
Sit quietly in your living room or back yard. Contemplate how you are connected to the universe.
Our Creator God is always at work. This video from a storm chaser captures clouds being formed. Spectacular.
FROM Happily Daily
The Curious Promise of Limited Time
A somewhat new podcast from The Growing Edge (August 2020) features a conversation with Parker Palmer about living with an awareness of our own horizon line, when we become more aware of “the curious promise of limited time.” Also in this episode is a new (and free) single, “The Music Will Play On,” words & music by Parker J. Palmer, music by Carrie Newcomer. Carrie and Parker talk about the collaborative process that led to this song, and how it addresses “the curious promise of limited time.”
Giving Our Deaths Away
In this very long piece (12 pages), Fr. Ron Rolheiser of Oblate Seminary in San Antonio TX discusses what it means to die well. “To summarize a lot of anthropology and spirituality in a few simple categories,” says Rolhesier, “it is not over-simplistic to say that there are three major stages of Christian discipleship: the struggle to get our lives together, the struggle to give our lives away, and, ultimately, the struggle to give our deaths away. But this last concept is largely foreign to us. How does one give his or her death away?” Worth the read.
FROM The Forest Dwelling Program of Oblate Seminary (see below)
Living in the Forest of Wisdom
Forest Dwelling: Spirituality for our Wisdom Years is a two-year program from Oblate Seminary in San Antonio that is designed for mature seekers who desire to mindfully embrace the challenges and opportunities of aging and diminishment by accessing the deep wisdom embedded in the world’s great mystical and contemplative traditions. The goal of the Forest Dwelling program is to prepare participants to live wisely and well during their remaining years so that in the words of Henri Nouwen, “they might be able to give both their life and death away” for the sake of the world. This program of education and formation will include two five-day gatherings on the campus of Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, (these my be held virtually due to the continuing pandemic) each year, directed online study, monthly participation in a small process group, regular spiritual direction and regular contemplative practice consistent with the participant’s primary spiritual tradition. A certificate will be awarded upon completion of the program.
Thanks and Yes
Dag Hammarskjöld, a Swedish diplomat and the second Secretary General of the United Nations, died at the age of 56 in an airplane crash as he travelled to a warring region of Africa. These stirring words were discovered after his death in his journals (later published under the English title Markings): “For all that has been, THANKS, for all that is to be, YES!”
Read a reflection by Br. Jonathan Maury of the Society of St John the Evangelist on saying ‘thanks,” and “yes” even in this time of uncertainty.
If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
Gathered Wisdom is from 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 The Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at