Gathered Wisdom, Aug 31

A weekly curated collection of essays, poetry, and reflections for your spiritual journey.  From The Wisdom Years.

To be a Christian in our culture is no easy thing, because it demands of us to live in faith, instead of fear; to live in hope, instead of despair; to live in love, instead of enmity. The narrow gate is difficult to pass through because it is so much easier to live in fear than faith. But that is not the invitation we have received, for the One who invites us to follow through the narrow gate is the same one who promises abundance of life to those who do follow.

-Br. James Koester
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Can You Still Find Joy When it Feels like the World is Ending?

It’s bleak out there: wildfires in the west, hurricanes in the south, political unrest resulting in 13 more dead American military men and women, a pandemic that simply won’t go away and communities in uproar because of it.  Ingrid Fetell Lee shares five tips for easing our current events-related anxiety and holding both the difficult and the joyful things in life together. From The Aesthetics of Joy. 

Read the essay.

Find Ingrid Fettel Lee’s book Joyful – The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness on the Wisdom Years reading list at St. Mark’s Bookstore.

Five Things to Know About Lament

Our current crises are unexplainable, says N. T Wright. But Christians are not supposed to explain it. Rather, we are called to lament. Wright turns to the ancient psalms, written by a people who knew deep suffering, to ferret out 5 ways to embrace lament at this time. From N. T. Wright Online.

Read the essay.

Response is Different from an Answer

In the vein of Rilke’s admonition to “live the questions,” Rabbi Ariel Burger suggests we celebrate questions even when we do not have answers.  This requires both humility and tenderness balanced by ferocity. From Global Oneness Project, found in

Read the essay.

When Crisis Comes

In her understanding of crisis contemplation, Barbara Holmes says, “Mysticism reminds us that the boundaries between this life and the life beyond are permeable, and that our power is not seeded in what is bestowed by politicians and society, but to everyone willing and ready to recognize the moves of an active Holy Spirit. . . .” From The Center for Action and Contemplation Daily Meditation, July 30, 2021.

Read the meditation. 

It Might have been Otherwise

by Jane Kenyon

Found at

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.

Read the rest of the poem and a note from our chaplain.

Gathered Wisdom is an offering of The Wisdom Years, a ministry devoted to the spiritual journey of the last third of our lives.

If this post was forwarded to you, sign up to receive Gathered Wisdom in your email by subscribing at

To learn more visit our website.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s