Gathered Wisdom, Dec 8

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.

I know you are not a God of chaos, so please give me clarity of thought. Help me to take my focus off myself and my situation and keep my eyes firmly planted on you so I don’t sink. In those moments when I feel so disappointed, carry me. Lord, show me what to do in my present situation. Amen

FROM The Rev. Patricia Riggins, adapted from the writings of Chandra Sparks Splond 

The angel has announced to Mary that she will bear a son, and that the child will be Emmanuel – God with us. How is God with you during this Advent season? How are you with God? Some readings for Advent week 2.

Receiving the Gift

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation for Dec. 8
Why, from the earliest centuries, have Christian people been so excited about Mary? What’s happening in the depths of our soul when we hear her story? Surely it must be about more than the miracle of the virgin birth. As Benedictine oblate, author, and poet Kathleen Norris shares, Mary’s “virginity” has less to do with biology than with her stance towards God and life itself.

Read the meditation
FROM The Center for Action and Contemplation

Advent 2: Judgment

By Diana Butler Bass
I woke up yesterday morning to the news that Middle Church in New York City, a congregation where a good friend is the pastor, was on fire. The pictures on Twitter were horrendous — the neo-gothic shell of the historic building engulfed in flames. It seemed a photograph from hell. “Why?” I asked my husband, “Why them? Of all churches? They surely don’t deserve this!”

Continue reading
FROM The blog of Diana Butler Bass

Every Tear Brings the Messiah Closer

By Fr. Ron Rolheiser
Looking at religious history through the centuries, we cannot help but be struck by the fact that God seemingly takes his time in the face of our impatience. Our scriptures are often a record of frustrated desire, of non-fulfillment, and of human impatience. It’s more the exception when God intervenes directly and decisively to resolve a particular human tension. We are always longing for a messiah to take away our pain and to avenge oppression, but mostly those prayers seem to fall on deaf ears.

Continue reading
FROM The blog of Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Mary’s Choice

By Miriam Dixon and Margaret Campbell
A visio divina from Renovare
Ask the Lord to help you enter the scene. Pic­ture the place where Mary was and what she was doing when the angel Gabriel appeared.What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? Notice the change of expres­sion on Mary’s face as she catch­es sight of the angel­ic mes­sen­ger. How does he appear? Observe his expres­sion as he engages Mary in con­ver­sa­tion. Notice the move­ment of their bod­ies as the con­ver­sa­tion unfolds. 

Engage the Visio divina
FROM Renovare – Med­i­ta­tions on the Birth of Jesus

God’s Presence and His Promises

By Carmen Joy Imes
The writer of Exodus begins by focusing on the women in the story: midwives, a mother, her daughter, a servant, and the daughter of Pharaoh. Each one acts within her sphere of influence to resist Pharaoh’s cruel policies. Working together, they save the infant Moses. They act with hope, refusing to let the regime force them into submission. The writer describes their bold actions with the same words he will later use to describe God’s saving of the Israelite nation.

Read the entire essay
FROM Christianity Today online

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

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