Gathered Wisdom, Jan 11, 2022

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

Hope has holes in its pockets. It leaves little crumb trails so that we, when anxious, can follow it.
Hope’s secret: it doesn’t know the destination—
It only knows that all roads begin with one foot in front of the other.

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, “Hope,” How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope (James Crews, editor)

Found in Well for the Journey. 

Crones Don’t Whine 

We think of a crone as a wizened old woman – the wicked witches of Disney. But at one time, a crone was a revered member of the community, acknowledged for her wisdom. Author Jean Shinoda Bolen re-introduces that concept in her book Crones Don’t Whine. Crones, says Bolen,  choose their path with heart and speak the truth with compassion. The Wisdom Years Thursday-afternoon group will read and discuss Crones Don’t Whine starting January 20. 

Visit this page for more information.

Visit the Wisdom Years.

Rise Up Again

If we are going to survive the divisions that confront us right now, we will need to create room for all of us to collaborate. We may set up boundaries, but we all live on the same planet. That is the message of this short film from Green Renaissance.

Watch the wideo.

From Network for Grateful Living. 

What We Do in Private

Why is it true that our every action has an effect on others, whether or not we intend that? Because we are part of the Body of Christ. What we do in one part of the body – for good or ill – affects the entire body, says Fr. Ron Rolheiser.

Read the reflection.

From the blog of Fr. Ron Rolheiser.

The Pain of Disconnection

We’ve been told we are all on our own, hence as a society we feel disconnected from each other. But if we say we believe in God, we must realize that our soul is like a homing device that will always guide us back to one who loves and cares for us.

Read the reflection.

From Center for Action and Contemplation.

Blessing for a New Beginning

by John O’Donohue

At the beginning of this new year, we turn to John O’Donohue for a blessing for the way forward.

In out-of-the-way places of the heart, 
Where your thoughts never think to wander, 
This beginning has been quietly forming, 
Waiting until you were ready to emerge. 

Read the rest of the poem.

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 wisdomyears.org.

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Our pre-Lent study: Crones Don’t Whine

A new Offering from The Wisdom Years.

January 20, 27, February 3, 10 

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

for 4 weeks

Online by Zoom

In earlier times, the word “crone” referred to an older, wise woman who was revered in her community. Often, she was a midwife, healer, or leader. But as women’s roles became diminished in a patriarchal society – and with the help of Disney – crones became characterized as withered, malicious, mean old women. 

No more, says author Jean Shinoda Bolen, who is putting a new face on the old, haggard one.  In Crones Don’t Whine, Bolen introduces today’s crone – an older woman with wisdom, compassion, humor, courage, and vitality. Crones, says Bolen, have learned to trust themselves and know what they know.

A crone has matured into “letting go of what should have been, could have been, might have been,” adds Bolen. The past is the past, and the wise crone accepts what was and capitalizes on what her life is now.

In our four-week exploration of ourselves as crones, we will read Crones Don’t Whine on our own, then gather weekly by Zoom for reflection and small-group discussion. 

The book is available from St. Mark’s Bookstore – https://www.stmarksbookstore.com – and other book retailers. Or contact Carla Pineda at carlaleedpineda@gmail.com.  

There is no charge for the course.

Make your reservation by emailing Marjorie George at 

marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

Gathered Wisdom, Jan. 4, 2022

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

Something new is being born in us if we but let it.

We stand at a new doorway, awaiting that which comes.

Daily Faith Reflections Dec 31, 2021 from Well for the Journey.

Women’s Christmas Retreat 2022: A Path Called Solace

Annually, artist and poet Jan Richardson produces a Women’s Retreat to be celebrated on Epiphany – or any time of the year. Originating in Ireland, Women’s Christmas began as a day when the women, who often carried the domestic responsibilities all year, took Epiphany as an occasion to enjoy a bit of respite and celebrate together at the end of the holidays. The retreat offers poetry, reflections, and wonderful artwork by Richardson. The retreat is downloadable at no cost, although a donation is a recommended option.

 Find the retreat.

From Sanctuary of Women.

10 Insights from 2021 That Give Us Hope

In what seems to be never-ending world-wide calamity and chaos, Daily Good captures the stories of quiet and unassuming heroes who made the world a better place in  2021.  We are reminded to do what we can right where we live.

Read the article, enjoy the photos. 

From Daily Good.

What Will You Do With Your Fear In 2022?

No doubt we are all hoping and praying that this new year will be better (whatever that means to each of us) than 2021. But, says the Rev. Mike Marsh, maybe the change  for which we are seeking isn’t about 2022 but about ourselves. “Will you and I in 2022 be different from and better than we were in 2021? I think the answer to that question depends on whether and how we deal with our fear,” says Marsh.  

Read the reflection. 

From Interrupting the Silence.  Used with permission.

Make good news!

This Christmas reflection from Brother Geoffrey Tristram of Society of St. John the Evangelist invites us to enter the new year bringing the light of good news into our homes, families, and communities.

Read the reflection.

From Society of St. John the Evangelist.

Our Churches as Sanctuaries

The Church prides itself on its long history of being a place of refuge for the persecuted: refugees, homeless persons, immigrants facing deportation, and others who are endangered. But is the Church a sanctuary for those who are searching, confused, wounded, broken, and the non-religious as well?

Read the reflection.

From Fr. Ron Rolheiser.

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 wisdomyears.org.

To learn more visit our website.

Gathered Wisdom, Dec 14

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

Deborah: Order, Disorder, Reorder

This week in Toward Incarnation we fight the good fight with Deborah from the book of Judges.
Mayhem, murder, backsliding – how can God be found in this? Find the study here. 

Gathered Wisdom is taking a two-week Christmas break.  We will be back on January 4. 

Wisdom of my Foremothers

In the form of letters to her ancestors, the Rev. Jennifer Bailey writes of the deeply-rooted hope she learned from her foremothers in her book To My Beloveds: Letters on Faith, Race, Loss, and Radical Hope. In an interview with Courtney Martin, Bailey says she needed to talk to the people she loves – living and not – for their wisdom, insight, and advice.

Read the interview.

From The Examined Family.

While I Yet Live

The women of Gee’s Bend in rural Alabama pass on their values, their faith, and the beauty of grandmothers along with the importance of family through the quilts they have been making for generations.

Watch the video.

From Daily Good.

Mary and Elizabeth as Spiritual Friends

In her reflection, Joanna Seibert explores the gift of spiritual friendship between these two brave women. When we seek to be connected to each other in Christ, it can be as joyful as singing the Magnificat, says Seibert.

Read the reflection.

To read also: Merton on Mary and Elizabeth.

More about Joanna Seibert.

Benevolent Detachment

Humans weren’t designed to carry the weight of the world in the palm of our hands. Yet we try, says Brian Morykon from Renovare. In his interview with author John Eldridge, we learn about benevolent detachment – loving the world but not trying to solve everyone’s problems. 

Listen to the podcast.

From Renovare.

Night Life

In order to fully live out our callings, says Brother Keith Nelson of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, we – like Christ – must find some time to withdraw. “Without some empty space, there will be no room for God to abide.” Jesus points the way in this. 

Read or listen to the reflection.

From Society of St. John the Evangelist.

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 wisdomyears.org.

To learn more visit our website.

Gathered Wisdom, Dec 7

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

Miriam: Singing Her Own Song

This week in our Toward Incarnation study we travel with Miriam through her life from primarily being the older sister of Moses to finding her own voice as a prophet for Israel. Read the essay and use the reflection questions for your own journey. Find it here.

Hero to Elder: an Archetypal Shift

In later life, a healthy spirituality means moving from self-centeredness to taking on “a higher purpose for the sake of others, for the sake of our souls, and for the sake of the world,” writes Connie Zweig, a Jungian-oriented therapist. We move from being heroes to being elders.

Read the reflection.

From Jung Platform.

Reasons to Celebrate Christmas

We expect a holy man, an ordained priest and former president of a Catholic seminary, to eschew the frivolities of Christmas. Yes, says Fr. Ron Rolheiser, the Christmas of our culture has too many excesses, but Christmas celebrations are also essential because we have a God-given need to participate in joy.

Read the reflection. 

More about Ron Rolheiser.

Telling Our Story This Advent

Our family members, especially our grandchildren, need to hear the stories of our lives. And we need to tell them.  As we do so, we become more grounded  to our roots and more aware of how God has been at work in our lives through the days and months and years.

Read the reflection.

From Joanna Seibert.

The Advent of Patience

Practicing patience is not only a Christian virtue, it is also a good strategy for maintaining one’s sanity. St. Paul knew having an attitude rooted in patience for other’s mistakes was essential for any Christian to survive, says Brother Jack Crowley of the Society of St. John the evangelist.

Read or listen to the short sermon.

For more about the Society of St. John the Evangelist.

The Marvel of the Incarnation

Gregory of Nazianzus was a 4th century defender of the doctrine of the Trinity. In this classical explanation of the Incarnation, he affirms that in Jesus, God purifies “like by like.” He takes to himself “all that is human, except for sin.”

Read Gregory’s essay. 

From Renovare.

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 wisdomyears.org.

To learn more visit our website.

Gathered Wisdom, Nov 30

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

Toward Incarnation Begins this Week

As we journey toward the incarnation of God in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, we are reminded that God is at work in every life, in every time, in every place. Our Advent offering will look at five biblical women who represent the journey from the calling of Abraham to the birth at Bethlehem and consider how their stories reveal God at work in our own lives.

Readings and questions for reflection will be posted on our website each Monday through December 20. Join us on Zoom every Thursday for conversation and discussion, or use the material on your own.  Find it here. 

The Hard, Essential Work of Observing Advent

During Advent we look forward to a time of peaceful reflection. But Advent is more than that. Advent is also about “standing up and raising our heads when we see things that are wrong rather than backing down or ignoring the reality before us,” says Allison Sandlin Liles in Grow Christians.

Read the reflection.

From Grow Christians.

End of the World

Is the world going to end soon? Jesus said some in his own generation wouldn’t die before he returned. But they did.  What now?

Read the reflection.

From the blog of Ron Rolheiser.

resources for Advent

Meditations on the Birth of Jesus

Using lectio divina and visio divina, Miriam Dixon and Margaret Campbell of Renovare present a verbal and visual journey through the Advent season. We are invited to spend time with scripture and art that tell the familiar story with new vision. The booklet is downloadable, or bookmark the URL and re-visit it each day of Advent. 

Find the resource.

From Renovare.

resources for Advent

Meditations from Seminary of the Southwest

Professors, students, and alumni of the seminary in Austin offer prayers and thoughts for Advent 2021.

Find the resource.

From Seminary of the Southwest.

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 wisdomyears.org.

To learn more visit our website.

Gathered Wisdom, Nov 23

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

Even though tried by misunderstanding, hardship, persecution, and martyrdom, our ancestors in faith sought to live in continual thanksgiving to God. Their firm conviction did not seek to deny the troubles of the present. Yet, by the continual offering of thanks, they passed through trials blessing the “goodness and loving-kindness” of God, who created and preserves us with the gift of life.

-Br. Jonathan Maury

Society of Saint John the Evangelist

A Grateful Thanksgiving: Inspiration, Blessings, and Opportunities

A Network for Grateful Living asks, “How might we embrace Thanksgiving as an opportunity to ritualize and reflect on what it means to live gratefully, every day? What feels sufficient, even abundant? What’s the invitation for this particular moment in time?”

Go to the page for a video and other resources.

Found in A Network for Grateful Living.

Being a Guest: Lessons in Receiving Hospitality

During the coming season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, we may find ourselves being called to receive as well as give. Brother Luke Ditewig from the Society of St. John the Evangelist reminds us that, “hospitality is about offering our hearts.”

Read or listen to the reflection.

Learn more about Society of St. John the Evangelist.

Prophecy – Challenge and Comfort

What can the Church offer the world just now? More social justice? More scripture reading? More Sunday school classes? No, says Ron Rolheiser; “Like the prodigal son, the world needs first of all to be surprised by unconditional love. Sometime later, and there will be time for that, it will want hard challenge.”

Read the reflection.

More about Fr. Ron Rolheiser.

Thanksgiving for Two

The adults we call our children will not be arriving
with their children in tow for Thanksgiving.
We must make our feast ourselves,

Read the rest of the poem by Marjorie Saiser.

Found at Poetry Foundation.

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 wisdomyears.org.

To learn more visit our website.

Gathered Wisdom, Nov. 16

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

The one you are seeking is also seeking you. In his eyes, you are the pearl of great price, for whom he is prepared to give all.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Our Path 

For every path, there is someone who has walked it before us and left signs pointing the way. Now, in our time, what can we leave the coming generation on the paths they will walk?

Read the essay from Joanne Seibert.

Found in Daily Something from Joanna Seibert.

Spirituality and the Second Half of Life 

When we are young, we struggle with the temptations of the devil and the energies of youth. But when we are old, we struggle with God. Our task in the second half of life is to let go of all that we have legitimately acquired and move toward nakedness, says Ron Rolheiser.

Read the essay.

Found on Ron Rolheiser blog.

Why Having a Good Listener Can Boost Brain Health

Research shows what we instinctively know – there is nothing like a good friend to talk to. It’s good for our souls and good for our brains.  Those who have good friends to talk to have higher cognitive abilities.

Read the short article.

Found in Happify Daily.

There Are Songs

Singer/songwriter Barbara McAfee starts each day with a five mile walk and a jump in a cold, clear river. Then she gathers from nature the sounds and sights that inspire her songs. 

Read the lovely essay and be sure to watch the video.

Found in Daily Good.

To Have Without Holding 

Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.

Read the rest of the poem.

Found in Daily Good.

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 wisdomyears.org.

To learn more visit our website.

Toward Incarnation

Our Advent study begins November 29; first Zoom session is Dec. 2

Weekly Zoom gatherings Dec 2, 9, 16, and Dec. 23 (optional)

Thursdays, 4 to 5:15 pm (Central time).

From The Wisdom Years, dedicated to the spiritual journey in the last third of life.

In Advent we prepare for God’s Incarnation in human form. And we recognize that our God has been acting in history throughout time to bring God’s people to himself. In our Advent exploration, we will look at how God was alive and working in the lives of five vibrant biblical women. The invitation is for each of us to explore through these women and ask: How is God working in us so that we might be all that God calls us to be?

The study includes weekly readings and daily text reflections.

We’ll gather every Thursday by Zoom for discussion and small-group conversation.

  • Dec 2 – Sarah: The Long Struggle
  • Dec 9 – Miriam: Singing Her Own Song
  • Dec 16 – Deborah: Order, Disorder, Reorder
  • Dec 23 – Mary and Elizabeth: The Blessing (and celebration!)

To join this study, send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com or  marjorie.george@dwtx.org.

There is no cost and no book will be required. 

Questions? email to marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com or  marjorie.george@dwtx.org.

Gathered Wisdom, Nov. 9

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

Next

Sometimes participating in God’s mission may not turn out the way we expect, or we may be called to change course mid-journey. We cannot fully know the mind of God in the accomplishment of God’s will. But that’s okay. All you need to ask God in prayer is, “What’s the next right thing?” And then do that one thing.

-Br. Jim Woodrum

Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Thanking the God of Creation

The Native Americans, who are the first heirs of our land, had a deep understanding of our Creator God’s gracious provision through nature. In that spirit, The Wisdom Years will offer  a Thanksgiving celebration using the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address in a Zoom gathering on Thursday, Nov. 18, starting at 4 p.m. Central time. If you wish to join us, please send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.comfor the Zoom link. (Those who have been part of our Seven Whispers study during the past 7 weeks will automatically receive the Zoom link.)

Being God’s Somebody

The call of God to us is always about becoming the person God intends us to be, says Bishop Michael Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. Our journey is about discovering our true selves and living from that grounding.

Read the reflection. 

Found in Daily Meditations from Richard Rohr.

Permission to be Sad

Sometimes giving in to sadness is the best way to cope.  Both pretending we are upbeat at a time of sadness or feeling there is something wrong about being sad are bad ways to react when we are genuinely sad, says Ron Rolheiser.

Read the reflection.

From the blog of Fr. Ron Rolheiser.

Contemplation vs Social Change

The apostolic tradition asks us to change the whole world for the better. The contemplative tradition asks us to change the small part of the world where we live. Seeing the world from only one or the other can be limiting; we need both of them.

Read the reflection from Brother David Steindl-Rast.

Found in Awakin.

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 wisdomyears.org.

To learn more visit our website.