Gathered Wisdom, Feb. 23

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.

God does not stop loving us every time we do something wrong, and neither should we stop loving ourselves and each other for being less than perfect.

— Harold Kushner in How Good Do We Have to Be? by Harold Kushner

The Most Important Day of Your Life

By the Rev. Mike Marsh
What are you doing with all that has happened last year and particularly last week, asks the Rev. Mike Marsh. And what is all that doing with you? In a sermon preached on the first Sunday in Lent, Marsh reflects on what it means to be in the wilderness, where we  “bump up against our limitations and face our powerlessness.”

Read the sermon.

Making God’s Unconditional Love Visible

“Whenever, contrary to the world’s vindictiveness, we love our enemy, we exhibit something of the perfect love of God,” says Henri Nouwen in You Are the Beloved. Joanna Seibert, in her “Daily Something” post for February 18, remarks that Nouwen has given her – and us –  a Lenten list of forgiving practices to consider and invite the Spirit to change in us.

Read the post.

Season of Disfiguration: Season of Hope

“Today we find ourselves in a time of disfiguration, and the message of the Gospel is that God has been here before us. God has transfigured what in us is disfigured,” says Brother James Koester of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in an Ash Wednesday post.  He reminds us that, in his act divine self-emptying, God did much more than simply take on human flesh. “God took on our limitations, our finitude, even our disfiguration, by submitting to death, disease, and loss; pain, grief, and sorrow; boredom, loneliness, and fatigue; worry, anxiety, and disquiet. God took all this on in the person of Jesus, and that is a thing full of wonder.”

Read the full post.

Taking Stock of Our Lives

“Lent is the process of emptying our cups,” says Sister Joan Chittister. “Lent is a time for trimming the soul and scraping the sludge off a life turned slipshod. Lent is about taking stock of time, even religious time. Lent is about exercising the control that enables us to say no to ourselves so that when life turns hard of its own accord, we have the spiritual stamina to say yes to its twists and turns with faith and with hope.”

Read the essay in Sister Joan’s weekly newsletter.

Prayers for the World

Join Shalem Institute’s weekly half-hour Prayer for the World sessions by phone. The intention is to hold our planet in compassion, light and love and to listen for what the Spirit is inviting in our current world situation. The time together will include a brief guided meditation, naming of areas of the planet in need, and silence.

To learn more.

Online Contemplative Photography Group

Since last August, a community of photographers at all skill levels has been gathering at to practice contemplative photography. Participants share photos in response to a weekly theme. The atmosphere is one of acceptance, encouragement, and delight in the wonders that this artistic medium opens.

Registration for the group opens at the beginning of the year and mid-year, which is now. This round of registration closes February 28.

For more information.

Wisdom for Times of Crisis

A 4-part online workshop series
From Sage-ing International
Facilitated by Ron Pevny, author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging

March 31, April 7, 14, 21
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm ET

Throughout our lives we experience many transitions — passages between one social role and another, passages between stages in our development throughout the human lifespan, and passages that mark significant growth opportunities at whatever life stage we are in. Successfully moving and growing through change—as opposed to trying futilely to hold on to a past that no longer supports true aliveness—requires that certain dynamics be recognized, honored and supported. 

For details.

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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