Gathered Wisdom, Jan. 12, 2021

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not because it stands for a chance to succeed.

— Vaclav Havel in Lyrics for Re-Creation by James Conlon

Presiding Bishop Curry’s Word to the Church: Who Shall we Be?

From Episcopal News Service
Jan 8, 2021

“I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth,” said Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, two days after the siege of the U. S. Capitol, “because I believe that his way of love and his way of life is the way of life for us all. I believe that unselfish, sacrificial love, love that seeks the good and the welfare and the well-being of others, as well as the self, that this is the way that can lead us and guide us to do what is just, to do what is right, to do what is merciful. It is the way that can lead us beyond the chaos to community.” 

Watch a video of Bishop Curry’s words to the Church, or read the transcript.

What is Loving Asking of Us Now?

By Fr. Ron Rolheiser
Oblate Seminary, San Antonio TX

“We live in a time of bitter division. From our government offices down to our kitchen tables there are tensions and divisions about politics, religion, and versions of truth that seem irreparable.  Sadly, these divisions have brought out the worst in us, in all of us.” 

Read the essay.

All Are Responsible 

By the Rev. Mike Marsh, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Uvalde TX
From a sermon preached on Sunday, Jan. 10.

 “Last week, some of you may remember, I ended my sermon by asking this question: Will we, in 2021, be different from and better than how we were in 2020? There’s not much about the first ten days of 2021 that suggests we will. I think it’s still an open question and, I hope, still a possibility. But after the events of last Wednesday and the assault on our nation’s capitol I’m just not so sure we will be.  As I reflect on the events of last Wednesday I keep going back to words from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, ‘Few are guilty, but all are responsible’.”

Read the rest of the sermon.

A preview of Lenten resources

Moving on Through Forgiveness

An 8-week online study from The Wisdom Years

Forgive and forget. We’ve been told that all our lives. And really, most of us would if we could. Yes, we know that resentment hurts us more than our enemies. But if forgetting must be part of our forgiveness, the task may be impossible, no matter how much we pray over it.  Perhaps, remember and move on is better advice.

To learn more and reserve your spot.

Come, Pray

From Society of St. John the Evangelist

Across the weeks of Lent, listen in as Brothers discuss the rich and varied ways we pray, together in church and in our personal prayer. The series is centered on a weekly 20-minute video and invites participants to explore and experience diverse prayer practices alongside the Brothers through joining their regular, live-streamed worship, special services, and online teachings.

To sign up for the weekly email: and select “Monastic Wisdom for everyday living.” 

Praying with the Gospel of John

From The Society of St. John the Evangelist
Tuesdays: February 9, 16, 23, March 2 (not March 9), 16, 23, 30, and April 6, 2021
7:30-8:15pm EST. 

The Fourth Gospel is at the heart of the “Johannine spirituality” lived by the Brothers of the Society of St John the Evangelist. It is a spirituality of love and intimacy, of abiding in Jesus and in the Father, of laying down of one’s life in service of others, of being sent into the world to reveal God’s love to those who don’t yet know it, and of witnessing to what we have seen and heard so that others may find the joy and love that God so wants to give them.

Led by Br. David Vryhof, SSJE. Beginning February 9, 2021.

For more info.

Living Well Through Lent – Listening with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind

From Living Compass

Designed for use as an individual reflection or for group study, this guide provides a foundation for seeking a deeper experience of Lent, an experience that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Easter. The study will include reflections from: Martha Bourlakis, Robbin Brent, Randall Curtis, Donald Fishburne, Jan Kwiatkowski, Heidi Kim, Malcolm McLaurin, Craig Phillips, Lisa Saunders, Scott Stoner, and Dawna Wall. The study is available both in print and digital format

For more info.

To Live Anew

By Joan Chittister

Lent is a summons to live anew. But how do you do that? In six brief but powerful reflections on one of the Sunday readings, Sister Joan offers insight into how “living anew” might look in these extraordinary times of pandemic and political upheaval. She also introduces six companions—one for each week of Lent—to walk with you during these 40 days of spiritual renewal. Each “companion” embodies a special quality for spiritual growth: Thomas Merton brings the gift of contemplation; Teresa of Avila, the gift of prayer; Rachel Carson, the gift of awe of creation; Oscar Romero, the gift of prophecy; Sojourner Truth, the gift of joy; Mother Jones, the gift of speaking your truth. 

For information.

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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