Gathered Wisdom, May 11

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.

Journey of the Soul

One of the qualities that you can develop, particularly in your older years, is a sense of great compassion for yourself. When you visit the wounds within the temple of memory, you should not blame yourself for making bad mistakes that you greatly regret. Sometimes you have grown unexpectedly through these mistakes. Frequently, in a journey of the soul, the most precious moments are the mistakes. They have brought you to a place that you would otherwise have always avoided. You should bring a compassionate mindfulness to your mistakes and wounds. Endeavor to inhabit the rhythm you were in at that time. If you visit this configuration of your soul with forgiveness in your heart, it will fall into place itself. When you forgive yourself, the inner wounds begin to heal. You come in out of the exile of hurt into the joy of inner belonging.

John O’Donohue
Excerpt from his book, Anam Cara 

May God Bless my Screwdriver

By Fletcher Lowe
From Living God’s Mission

“Blessing the farms and the fields, blessing the boats and the bait….  So in more rural times, congregations gathered as a way of asking God’s blessings. What were our rural friends asking God’s blessings on, but the means of production: farms, fields, boats, bait, for a good harvest and a good catch. The Latin word for ask is rogare, hence Rogation in our Episcopal liturgy.”

Read the essay.

Rogation Sunday was May 9. Rogation Days continue until the Day of Ascension, this year May 13. 

Want to know more about Rogation Days?

Easter in the Compost Bin

By Micha Boyett 
From Grow Christians

“This Eastertide I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to live in the relentless goodness of Easter Sunday, not only on the day of Easter, but in all the fifty days that follow. I’m in a new home this Easter, and in a new climate. Here the flowers have burst into bloom all over my yard, and I’ve been reading a book called Braiding Sweetgrass.”

(Note: Those in our recently-ended Gratefulness study will recognize Braiding Sweetgrass as a book we discussed.)

Read the essay.

The Intelligence Inside of the Aging Process

By Ron Rolheiser
From his blog.

“What can God and nature have had in mind when they designed the aging process? Why is it that just when our mental prowess, our human maturity, and our emotional freedom are at their peak, the body begins to fall apart?  Our faith, of course, because it opens us to a perspective beyond our biological lives, sheds some light on these questions, though it doesn’t always give us a language within which to grasp more reflectively what is happening to us in the aging process. Sometimes a secular perspective can be helpful and that is the case here.”

Read the essay.

“Why do you stand looking up to heaven?”

By the Rev Mike Marsh
From his blog, Interrupting the Silence

“We live in a world in which up is better than down. Singers want to be at the top of the charts, athletes want to be on top of their game, and students want to be at the top of the class. Everyone would rather have an up day than a down day. When the stock market rises we celebrate but despair when it crashes down. No one wants to be at the bottom of someone’s list. We work to climb, not to descend the career ladder. We hear and read about mountain climbers but not much is said or written about valley descenders. Recently, the three year old class at our parish school has delighted in showing me how high they can jump and, at least for a moment, defy gravity.”

Read the rest of the sermon.

Ascension Day is May 13 this year. 

The account of Christ’s ascension is told in Acts 1:6-11.

The Way of Words & Images: Creative and Spiritual Journaling

An online offering from Trinity Church, Wall Street

Weekly on Wednesdays through June 23
Beginning May 12, 2021, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

“Bring to life the words and images that come from within and around you to nurture and strengthen your spirit and well-being. Journaling is a powerful way to record, reflect on, and become a witness to your own experience, healing, and sense of self. We will play with writing reflections, stories, questions, lists, poems, letters, and dialogues. We will also access our creative expression and spirit through drawings, self-portraits, images, collages, and scribbles that unite our hands, hearts, and minds. No artistic or writing experience needed. This class is facilitated by Julia Kristeller, MEd, of the Psychology and Spirituality Institute.”

For more 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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