Gathered Wisdom, June 22, 2021

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.

Collaborate

How do you want to end up? At the end of today? At the end of your life? This requires intention. We have in God both partnership and provision for the cultivation of our soul. God’s invitation is to collaborate – to co-labor – with God in the cultivation of our soul: in our growing whole, free, and real.

Read more.

-Br. Curtis Almquist
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Either, Or, and Metaphors

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“Our English language divides the world into nouns and verbs or ‘things’ and ‘actions.’ This structure makes us naturally start to compare, compete, and try to control our perceptions.” – Carol Folbre.

Read the rest of this reflection on our Facebook page. Find us at “The Wisdom Years.” Search for the page, not the group.

Practicing What We Preach and Fear

By Joanna Seibert

Are we living the gospel or just talking about it? As Christians, we say we respect the dignity of every human being, but our homes and our pews all look like us. Is fear of losing what we have fostering  a scarcity mentality? “Living out of gratitude rather than fear can help us practice what we preach,” says Joanna.

Read the reflection.

More from Joanna Seibert.

Fine art of Christian living

By Joan Chittister
From Vision and Viewpoint newsletter

It is what we do, how we live, where we invest our time in the ordinary days that are the foundation of our Christian lives.  The church is currently in the liturgical season of “Ordinary Time,” named for the ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) used to name and count the Sundays – such as the Third Sunday after Pentecost. “But the truth is that there is nothing ordinary—if by ordinary we mean inferior or less important—about a period such as this at all,” says Sister Joan Chittister.  “This time is the extraordinary period of coming to see the world through the eyes of Jesus. It is the period when we determine how we ourselves will act from now on.”

Read the entire reflection.

More from Joan Chittister.

Listening to the Wisdom of Nature

By Jan Blencowe
From Kolbe Times newsletter

“Silent time in nature is a necessity for me,” says artist and writer Jan Blencowe. She adds that scripture reports stones speaking and listening, trees clapping their hands, and other acts of nature alive.  “Nature has been commissioned by her Creator to illuminate and instruct. I sit at her feet and eagerly listen.”

Read the reflection.

This issue of Kolbe Times focuses on wisdom. Read More.

Finding Holiness in the Sanctuary of Difference

By Br. Geoffrey Tristram
Society of St. John the Evangelist

How many of us think that our lives would be better if one particular person just went away? As Bishop Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury said, “A great deal of our politics, our ecclesiastical life, often our personal life as well, is dominated by the assumption that everything would be all right, if only some people would go away.” And too often we use our power to make that happen.

Read or listen to the reflection.

More from Society of St. John The Evangelist.

Streams of Living Water

A Renovare podcast with Richard Foster and James Catford

Richard Foster, author of the groundbreaking book Celebration of Discipline, calls them “streams of living water,” by which he means six great charisms of different church traditions. They are, says Nathan Foster, “treasures tucked away” in various denominations: the contemplative tradition, the holiness tradition, the charismatic tradition, the social justice tradition, the evangelical tradition, and the incarnational tradition. In this podcast, Richard Foster and James Catford discuss how the traditions weave together.

Listen to the podcast.

More from Renovare.

Beginning Again: Benedictine Wisdom for Living with Illness

An online course From Oblate Seminary
With Mary Earle and Ron Rolheiser

Tuesdays, Sept 14 – Nov 2, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Central Time) 

“Particularly as we grow older, many of us discover that we live with ailments of some sort. These may be minor or they may be demanding chronic conditions or even terminal diagnoses. The challenge becomes, as one person put it, “to give the mess some meaning.” Using Beginning Again: Benedictine Wisdom for Living with Illness by Mary C. Earle, as our text, we will explore ways of crafting a rule of life informed by living with the illness. Class sessions will include prayer and meditation, teaching, journaling, and small group time.”

For more info and to register.

More events from Oblate Seminary.

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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 wisdomyears.org.

Like us on Facebook – The Wisdom Years.

 


Gathered Wisdom, June 15, 2021

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.

Join our community on our new Facebook page. 

The best journeys are taken with trusted companions, so we are using our new Facebook page  as a special place for the community to connect. We hope you will enjoy our offerings and  share your own contributions for the good of the community. We welcome your comments. 

Find our FB page at The Wisdom Years. 

God’s Seedy People

By the Rev. Mike Marsh
From Interrupting the Silence

One of the things we learn in our wisdom years is that if we are growing we are changing. In his sermon on the parable of the farmer who sows seeds, Mike Marsh asks his listeners: “What seeds have germinated and taken root in you? What new sprouts are coming up in you? Where is growth taking place and what does that look like?” 

Read the sermon

More from Interrupting the Silence.

Overcoming Anxiety

A Renovare podcast with professor J. P. Moreland

When professor J. P. Moreland suffered a severe panic attack,  he turned to therapy, medicine, friends, Bible reading, and prayer, and he recovered. But when he suffered another attack ten years later, he devoured dozens of books on anxiety and spiritual formation, and prayerfully put into practice what he learned, including that it takes a long time to learn how to “cast all our anxiety on God” (1 Pet 5).

Listen to the podcast.

More from Renovare.

Authentic Living

A Green Renaissance film
Found on A Network for Grateful Living

“What are you here for? What are you living for? We’re here to do something, and it starts from being able to listen to that little voice inside,” says Nirmala Nair.  We are all here to do something, says Nirmala.  

Authenticity is being able to take the risk, “to follow one’s heart, and make mistakes and learn from that.”

Watch the video.

Green Renaissance produces short films that uplift the personal stories of ordinary people. Learn more about Green Renaissance. 

Learn more about A Network for Grateful Living.

Disciples with Many Faces

By Fr. Ron Rolheiser

In the gospel stories, we see that different individuals had different ways of connecting to Jesus, says Rolheiser. Not all were apostles or disciples.  Some who did not even follow him contributed to his cause.  “Each of us has his or her own history of being graced and wounded, formed and deformed, and so we all come to adulthood with very different capacities to see, understand, love, accept love, and give ourselves over to someone or something beyond us.”

Read the reflection.

More from Ron Rolheiser’s blog. 

Image Gently

By Joanna Seibert

Joanna writes of a friend, a pediatric radiologist, who heads an organization that works with physicians, parents, and medical organizations to  encourage using the least amount of radiation when performing tests on children. This effort, says Joanna, “is showing us how we can change the world by communicating and dialoguing with all people who share a special interest.” This concept is equally important in our spiritual lives. “We find more answers to our spiritual questions in community; whereas often we cannot understand our concerns by ourselves.”

Read the short reflection.

More from Joanna Seibert.

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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 wisdomyears.org.

Connect with us on Facebook – The Wisdom Years.

Gathered Wisdom, June 8, 2021

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.

Explore

This challenging time we are living through now may actually be a spiritual gift for us. Maybe the invitation from the Spirit within us is to see this time as a precious opportunity to go deeper, to discover a rich and wondrous world within us to be explored, with the Spirit as our guide.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Foundational Hope

By Richard Rohr
From Center for Action and Contemplation

Writing on hope, Fr. Rohr quotes  Indigenous Choctaw elder and Episcopal Bishop Steven Charleston: “The signs are all around us. We can see them springing up like wildflowers after the prairie rain. People who had fallen asleep are waking up. People who had been content to watch are wanting to join. People who never said a word are speaking out. The tipping point of faith is the threshold of spiritual energy, where what we believe becomes what we do.” (From Charleston’s book Ladder to the Light: An Indigenous Elder’s Meditations on Hope and Courage.

Read Rohr’s reflection.

More about Center for Action and Contemplation.

Welcomed Back By A Sacred Space

By Joanna Seibert

As she relaxes on a summer morning from her sacred space on the Gulf, Joanna Seibert reflects on the journey of deep-sea fishermen. They are, she says, “another metaphor for our spiritual journey where we search beneath the surface of our lives to a deeper place of memories, dreams, and reflections.  We go with spiritual guides who have been there before and know the territory. We share the joy of what we have found in community.”

Read Joanna’s reflection. 

More from Joanna Seibert.

What did you miss?

By The Rev. Jay Sidebotham
From RenewalWorks

Celebrating the Eucharist for the first time in many months, The Rev. Jay Sidebotham considers four important words from the liturgy: “taken, blessed, broken and given.” As we begin to come back into community from the pandemic, it is important to think about not only what has been lost but also what we have learned. “Those lessons,” says Sidebotham, “provide opportunity for hope, as we make our way back into community. It’s hope that this season of brokenness will lead to new life, that it will be blessed and shared.”

Read the essay. 

More from RenewalWorks.

The Wisdom of Forgetting Everything You Know

By Dr. Gail Brenner
Found in Daily Good

“There is no greater gift you can give yourself than the invitation to enter the world of not knowing,” says Gail Brenner in this provocative essay. Brenner calls us to forget what we know because by thinking we know what will happen, we close ourselves off to things beyond our imaginations. Our consistent efforts to control our lives prevent us from allowing our lives to just unfold. 

Read the essay.

More from Daily Good.

More from Dr. Gail Brenner.

Living Word, Living Way

An online course from The Shalem Institute
6 sessions beginning Sunday, June 13 through Sunday, July 25, 2021
Registration deadline: June 21, 2021
Materials available for two weeks after the course ends.

“Join Shalem adjunct staff member Patience Robbins as she guides you through the use of lectio divina, walking meditation, the practice of gratitude, and intercessory prayers. Whether you feel like a beginner or want to deepen a particular prayer practice; whether you want to explore new ways of praying or are seeking the support of like-spirited others in an online setting — this course offers something for you.”

This course is asynchronous.  You may access material at any time that fits in your schedule.  

For more information and to register.

More about Shalem Institute.

Rumi – Living a Spiritual Life – 2021

From Spirituality and Practice
By Kabir Helminski, Camille Helminski
Sunday, June 13 – Saturday, July 10

Poetry is the language of the soul, and for Jalaluddin Rumi it was his passion to share with us his realization: There is an unseen but immanent, majestic yet tender REALITY we cannot afford to live without. And there is some work we can do to remove what stands in the way of our perceiving this Truth/Beauty and our being transformed by it.

For details and to register.

More from Spirituality and Practice.

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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 wisdomyears.org.

Gathered Wisdom, June 1, 2021

God must be allowed the right to speak unpredictably.

— Thomas Merton in The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia by William H. Shannon, Christine M. Bochen, Patrick F. O’Connell.

From Spirituality and Practice.

Path With Heart

By Jack Kornfield
From Awakin.org.

Is our spiritual path connected to our hearts? How do we know? By looking at where we put our time, our strength, our creativity, our love. “We must look at our life without sentimentality, exaggeration, or idealism,” says Kornfield. We must ask, “Does what we are choosing reflect what we most deeply value?’ ”

Read the essay.

More from Awakin.org.

Four Shapes of Transformation

By Richard Rohr
From Center for Action and Contemplation

Our faith, and our understanding of our faith, are always evolving.  As we live out our years, our experiences inform our comprehension. “An evolutionary faith,” says Richard Rohr, “understands that nothing is static. The universe unfolds, our understanding of God evolves and deepens, and our moral development surely evolves as well.”

Read Rohr’s reflection.

More from Center for Action and Contemplation.

70 Over 70 

A podcast from Pineapple Street Studios.

In 70 over 70, podcast host Max Linsky talks to 70 remarkable people, all over the age of 70, not just about their past but their lives right now. These are conversations about the big questions we all ask ourselves, no matter how old we are. What does it mean to live well? What are we still searching for? And how do we learn to let go?

Listen to the current episode.

More about Pineapple Street Studios.

Being Simply Beautiful

From A Network for Grateful Living
A video from Green Renaissance

Theo du Plessis, one of the “grateful changemakers” from A Network for Grateful Living, reflects on how losing everything brought him to realize what is really important: “I don’t have time for things which are not real. I don’t have enough time left. So, I want my life to feel authentic.”

Watch the video.

More from A Network for Grateful Living.

More about Green Renaissance.

Summer Resources for Spiritual Sustenance

From Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.

As we move into the long days of summer, some of Shalem’s board and staff have put together a list of books, movies, poetry and other resources that are contemplatively grounding and inspirational. 

Investigate the list.

More about Shalem Institute.

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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 wisdomyears.org.

Gathered Wisdom, May 25

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.

Protest

We cannot love God if we do not love our brothers and sisters and recognize the love God has for them. We cannot adore the beauty of our diverse triune God if we do not seek it in the faces of the diverse community God has created. We cannot receive the assurance of God’s mercy, gracefully shown to us in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, unless we are willing to be arbiters of that same mercy; a mercy that both takes a knee in peaceful protest and displaces the knee prohibiting another from breathing in the breath of life.

-Br. Jim Woodrum
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

The UK Blessing — Churches sing “The Blessing” over the UK

Over 65 churches and movements of the United Kingdom, representing hundreds of others, have come together online to sing a blessing over the land. It’s a prayer for every nation, every person.

Watch and listen.

The Blessed Confusion of Pentecost

By Ryan Kuratko
From Grow Christians

The human story is one of diversity, of wondrous and different cultures, says Ryan Kuratko in this reflection from Grow Christians. So when we choose only one way, one culture, one language, we are in danger of destroying everything that is our true identity. God’s intervention in that process happens at Babel. 

Read the reflection on why to get to Pentecost we have to go through Babel.

More from Grow Christians.

This is Me at 68

From Daily Good

What we know as we live into this last third of our lives is that everything softens. People and situations that used to raise all our hackles are now hardly worth a hand-wring. The writers of these short essays – ranging in age from 68 to upper-70s, echo that sentiment as they tell of the revelations that have surfaced by the pandemic. It’s not all bad out there. 

Read the essays.

More from Daily Good.

Our Faith is in Community

By Richard Rohr
From Center for Action and Contemplation

Again and again in the past 15 months, we have found the value of community by our absence from it. “In our corporate wholeness, are the glory of God, the goodness of God, the presence of God,” says Richard Rohr.  “As an individual, I participate in that wholeness, and that is holiness!  It’s not my private holiness; it’s our connectedness together.” It is our reliance upon each other, each doing his or her part, that witnesses to God’s manifestation among us.

Read Rohr’s reflection.

More from CAC.

The Wisdom Years is founded on community. We gather most Thursday afternoons to reflect and discuss together on the topic of the week, but mostly it’s about companionship.  If you want to know more, send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com. Or visit wisdomyears.org.

Notes in the Margins

An online Series of Book Discussions with Parker J. Palmer
From The Center for Courage and Renewal

Session 1 
Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Thursday, May 27 
12 noon to 1:30pm EDT

Session 2
A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life
Thursday, June 24 
7:00pm to 8:30pm EDT

Session 3
On the Brink of Everything: Grace Gravity & Getting Old
Thursday, July 22 
12 noon to 1:30pm EDT 
  

The Center for Courage and Renewal is offering a series of three online book discussions with Parker J. Palmer. Each conversation will focus on one of Parker’s most widely read books. He will share about writing the book and what he’s learned from readers about it over the years. Then he’ll invite questions and comments about how the issues in the books have played out in your life.

These conversations are free and open to anyone. Sign up for one, two, or all three.

Learn more and register

More from Center for Courage and Renewal

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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 wisdomyears.org.



Gathered Wisdom, May 18, 2021

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.

Unfolding

A new online offering
from The Wisdom Years

Starting May 27, 2021

Every Thursday, 
4 to 5:15 p.m.
(Central time) 
for 4 weeks

The spiritual path, it seems, appears as we travel the journey.  We make the road by walking it. Our part is to recognize the hand of God steadying us and beckoning us forward.

For this 4-week study, we will draw from the book Unfolding by Nancy J. Hill. We will read on our own, then gather weekly to reflect on and discuss how the readings resonate with our lives. We will acknowledge and learn to navigate the road that urges us on, though we may not always see the way ahead clearly.

For all the details and to save your space in the study, click here.

Wendell Berry reads Wendell Berry

Relax into nature as poet Wendell Berry reads his famous poem “The Peace of Wild Things” against the backdrop of a beautifully-animated video.  

Listen and watch.

More From Daily Good

A Fixed Place To Stand

By Richard Rohr

“Give me a place to stand, and a lever long enough,” said Archimedes,  “and I will move the world. ” Richard Rohr finds analogy in the contemplative life. “The fixed point is our place to stand,” says Rohr. “It is a contemplative stance: steady, centered, poised, and rooted.”

Read Rohr’s essay.

More from Awakin

Working Out Our Life

By the Rev. Mike Marsh

Reflecting on Jesus’ prayer on the night of the Last Supper (John 17:6-19), the Rev. Mike Marsh invites us to listen in. “One of the things I know about prayer is that we never simply offer our words. Instead, our words are an offering of ourselves and the circumstances of our lives. There’s always more going on than the words we say.” That is true of Jesus’ prayer on this night, says Marsh. 

Taken from a sermon preached at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Uvalde TX, May 16, 2021

Read it.

More from Interrupting the Silence

Synchronicity

By Joanna Seibert

Psychologist Patrick Murray calls them “moments of transformation, embracing us with a profound sense that life is ultimately purposeful.” We call them coincidences, serendipity, synchronicities. Or just “a God thing.” They are moments when we sense a holy connection, says Joanna Seibert. 

Read Joanna’s reflection.

More from Daily Something

Seeing in a Deeper Way

By Ron Rolheiser

In the account of Paul’s conversion (Acts 9:1-9), Fr. Ron Rolhesier thinks Paul may not have been struck physically blind, but rather “Paul got up off the ground with his eyes wide open, seeing nothing.” For us, it is a lesson in seeing more deeply. In this essay, Rolheiser offers some ways we can do that.

Read the essay.

More from his blog.

Talking to Elephants

By Fred Smith

Elephants need riders. In the metaphor, says Fred Smith, the elephant is “intuition or the hundreds of rapid, effortless moral judgements and decisions that we all make every day.” But intuition carries bias. That is why the elephant needs a rider – called reason. In arguments, we get nowhere talking to the elephant.

Read more of this insightful essay.

More about The Gathering

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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
ww.wisdomyears.org.

Unfolding

An online offering
from
The Wisdom Years

Starting May 27, 2021

Every Thursday, 
4 to 5:15 p.m.
(Central time) 

for 4 weeks

In his poem “Santiago,” David Whyte describes the spiritual journey as “the road seen, then not seen” – sometimes revealing the way we should take, sometimes dropping away and leaving us to walk on thin air. 

Our path, it seems, appears as we travel the journey.  Our part is to recognize the hand of God steadying us and beckoning us forward. 

In our study of “unfolding,” we will acknowledge and learn to navigate the road that urges us on at this time of our lives, though we may not always see the way ahead clearly.

How it works:

•  Each week, we will read from Nancy J. Hill’s book Unfolding, then gather in community and in small groups by Zoom to offer our own thoughts on how Hill’s essays inform our unfolding lives. We will learn from our shared wisdom and from the revelations of our own souls as we listen for the wind of the Spirit.  

•  You will need to buy the book, but there is no other cost for the study. Look for the book under the title of Unfolding: Slow Down, Drop In, Dare More. Or contact Carla Pineda to order the book for you: carlaleedpineda@gmail.com.

•  We will meet via Zoom. If you are not a current Zoom user, we will help get you started.

•  Leaders for this study will be Marjorie George, Carla Pineda, and the Rev. Patricia Riggins.

• To save your space in this study, please send an email to Marjorie George at 

marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com.

•  If you want to know more before you commit, send an email to

Marjorie George.

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
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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
ww.wisdomyears.org.

 

 

Gathered Wisdom, May 4

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.

Be The Change

Walk into nature in any of its forms today, and as you look and listen and receive the impression, also notice within yourself its effect on you. Is there some simple way you can return to nature its great gift to us, by planting or weeding or caring for an animal?

From Daily Good, May 4, 2021

Nature, Joy, and Human Becoming

An “On Being” interview with naturalist Michael McCarthy and Krista Tippett

“The sudden passionate happiness which the natural world can occasionally trigger in us may well be the most serious business of all,” Michael McCarthy writes. He is a naturalist and journalist with a galvanizing call — that we stop relying on the immobilizing language of statistics and take up our joy in nature as our defense of it. And he reminds us that the natural world is where we first found our metaphors and similes and it is the resting place for our psyches.”

Listen to the interview.

Coddiwomple

By Monica Mxon
From Shalem

“Several years ago, I planned a road trip with a good friend to visit her son, my godson, during spring break. However, as it turned out, we weren’t going to Idaho but to Iowa and also, as it turned out, my godson had come East and went back with us. He was the designated driver for most of the way, gamely playing 60s music, listening to our Swedish mystery on tape and laughing at my story about thinking I was heading to Idaho.

“That’s when he taught me a new word, ‘coddiwomple,’ which I loved immediately though I couldn’t quite believe it was real.”

Read the essay.

Do the Next Thing

By Fred Smith
From The Gathering

“Last week a friend was sorting through an issue that affects all of us at one time or another. She has a fine career and was suddenly sideswiped by a loss of confidence. It was not depression as much as a deflation. She had lost her sense of hope and belief in her own skills. All she could see was being stuck and immobilized – or worse. It’s often called the ‘imposter syndrome’ or the fear of being found out as not being as competent as everyone thought.”

Read or listen to the essay.

Our Most Common Sin

By Ron Rolheiser

“I venture to say that most of us operate, however unconsciously, out of anger and this shows itself in our constant criticism of others, in our cynicism, in our jealousy of others, in our bitterness, and in our inability to praise others. And unlike most of our other sins, anger is easy to camouflage and rationalize as virtue.”

Read the essay.

The Many Parts of Ourselves

A book recommendation from Joanna Seibert.

“Those parts of ourselves that block us from the Spirit can also be pathways back to an even richer relationship to the God or Spirit within us. Christians would tell us that the life of Mary Magdalene is our scriptural example. Whatever her seven demons were, they led her to Christ and a new relationship with God and a new life. The recovery community would say that the recovering alcoholic or addict is led back to the God of his understanding in his journey to recovery. The Jungians would tell us that a recognition of the shadow or unloved or unaccepted part of us can become our hidden treasure or gold.”

Read Joanna’s essay.

Love. Period.

A new podcast with Jacqui Lewis
From Center for Action and Contemplation

“How do we stand in love and faith in the midst of injustice? Starting early May, join Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis for Love. Period., a new podcast that advocates a fresh view of spirituality—a grown-up, inter-religious, universal view that speaks across race, gender, sexuality and generations. In conversation with special guests like CAC friends Rev. Dr. William Barber, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, Jacqui invites us to experience faith as the practice of fierce love that heals the soul and the world.”

For more information.

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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
ww.wisdomyears.org.

Gathered Wisdom, April 27

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.

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

— William Stafford

From Diana Butler Bass blog, April 26, 2021

Radical Joy For Hard Times

By Trebbe Johnson
From Daily Good

“When I receive a gift, I am conscious of both the gift and the giver. Gratitude suffuses me. This gratitude often transforms into a wish to give something back to my generous giver. We are conscious of this desire to give back when it comes to people who are givers. Places are givers, too. And we can give back to them. When we do, we become more courageous, more creative—and certainly more grateful!”

Read the essay.

Religion After Pandemic

By Diana Butler Bass

“During a Freeing Jesus event hosted by a Seattle church, a man asked: ‘What do you think is going to happen with churches after the pandemic? How is Christianity going to be changed by this?’ The question startled me. I was focused on my new book and not talking about the future of faith. I quickly pivoted back to Jesus. And the questioner just as quickly pivoted back to ‘What’s going to happen after the pandemic?’ 

“I don’t know,” I replied. “Nobody knows.”

Read the essay.

Our Struggle for Empathy and Generativity

By Ron Rolheiser

“In our normal, daily lives we are invariably so self-preoccupied that we find it difficult to be able to accord others the same reality and value we give to ourselves. In brief, it’s difficult for us to live in true empathy because we are forever consumed with our own heartaches and headaches. From two famous intellectuals, one speaking philosophically and the other psychologically, we get that same insight.”

Read the essay.

Learning to Read Spiritual Signs

By Joanna Seibert
From Daily Something

As spiritual friends, we help each other see where God is working in our lives. We have friends helping us connect the dots, suggesting that a storm may be coming when we miss the signs. We are called to remember how God led us in our past. We have seen the signs in the past. When one of us cannot presently see the signs of God alive in our lives, those of us who can see help out each other.

Read the meditation.

Group Spiritual Direction Workshop

An e-course from Shalem Institute
Tuesday, June 1, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm EDST
Wednesday, June 2, 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm EDST
Thursday, June 3, 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm EDST
Via Zoom

For those who want to learn or deepen the practice of Group Spiritual Direction. Participants will immerse themselves in a virtual spiritual community as they experience Group Spiritual Direction and explore their own call to this ministry. Through live experiential learning, presentations, small GSD groups, and prayerful silence, participants will steep themselves in the contemplative grounding which is the heart of this ministry.

For more information and to register.

Practicing Spirituality at Home – 2021

An e-course from Spirituality and Practice
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Sunday, May 2 – Thursday, June 10

“Remember those little things we may do regularly, such as lighting a candle for a special occasion or tending to the care of a pet or a houseplant. These all have spiritual meaning, and they can become a workshop for the spirit if approached with respect, creativity, and imagination.” 

This e-course consists of 40 daily emails of practices, rituals, reminders, and prayers to help you bring more focus and intentionality to the ordinary things you do at home.

For more information and to register.

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

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
ww.wisdomyears.org.