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, 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. 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.

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.

Gathered Wisdom, Aug 24, 2021

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

The healing of our present woundedness may lie in recognizing and reclaiming the capacity
we all have to heal each other,
the enormous power in the simplest of human relationships:
the strength of a touch,
the blessing of forgiveness,
the grace of someone else taking you just as you are
and finding in you an unsuspected goodness.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom

From Well for the Journey. Thought for the Day, Aug 13, 2021

This Week:

  • Is there More Kindness or Evil in Our World?
  • Letting there be Room for All of This
  • Dad talks about COVID
  • My Enemy is My Friend
  • On the Edge

Is There More Kindness or Evil in Our World?

If there are more good people than evil people in the world, why do we feel so overcome by tragedy and destruction right now? Maybe it’s because we don’t notice the kind acts all around us. From Daily Something by Joanna Seibert, Aug 22, 2021 

Read the meditation.

More from Joanna Seibert.

Letting there be Room for All of This

If we could only fix the problem or find a solution everything would be OK, we think. But we can’t, and maybe we shouldn’t. At least for a while.  Maybe recognizing the uncertainty with which we live is how we get through. By Courtney E. Martin In The Examined Family.

Read the essay.

More from Courtney Martin.

My 94-Year-Old Dad Talks About COVID 19

Writer Abbey Algiers wondered how her father, who lived through World War II and polio, compared those traumas to the one we are in today. So she interviewed him. From Daily Good, Aug. 21, 2021

Read the article.

More Daily Good

My Enemy is Now My Friend

What happened between the Palestinian woman and the Israeli woman after the conference was much more important than what was agreed to during the conference. Read this piece by Joan Chittister in the current issue of Kolbe Times

Read it.

This edition of Kolbe Times focuses on peace and justice with several good articles worth reading. Find it here.

On the Edge

She found herself at the edge of the mountain, and she is deathly afraid of heights. Then she remembered a conversation with Archbishop Rowan Williams who said that the hope for the church is to be found at the edges. We are all on the edge just now.

By Diana Butler Bass. 

Read it.

More from The Cottage by Diana Butler Bass

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. Or send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

Gathered Wisdom

August 17, 2021

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

.

“Wisdom is radiant and unfading,

and she is easily discerned by those who love her,

and is found by those who seek her.

She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.

One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty,

for she will be found sitting at the gate.”—Wisdom 6:12-14.

From Daily Something by Joanna Seibert. Read the rest of Joanna’s meditation. 

This Week:

  • The pillars of wholehearted living
  • What attitude should we adopt now?
  • During a crisis, slow down
  • Dealing with judgmentalism

Six Pillars of the Wholehearted Life

“Take everything that’s bright and beautiful in you and introduce it to the shadow side of yourself… When you are able to say, ‘I am … my shadow as well as my light,’ the shadow’s power is put in service of the good.” – Parker Palmer in a commencement address at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.  Found in Daily Good, November 3, 2015

Watch the address or read the transcript.

More about Daily Good.

A Christian Attitude Toward the World

“Where is God now?” has become the cry of many, even faithful Christians. How can God allow the injustice, the suffering, the hatred that has infected our society? But Fr. Ron Rolheiser insists that God still loves the world. Our part is to “comfort it in its pain, affirm its goodness, and help it direct its powerful life forces and energy towards the transcendent, towards God, towards community, towards justice, and towards compassion.”

Read the essay.

From Fr. Ron’s blog.

Crisis Contemplation

To slow down and enter a contemplative attitude when the instinct is to run and hide is counterintuitive, says Barbara Holmes in her essay from the Center for Action and Contemplation. Contemplation, says Holmes, helps us to retreat from the frontlines of life.

Read the meditation.

More about the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Removing the Log from our Eye

Are there people who just make you crazy? Do you wish they would go away? Of course there are, and you do.  Brother David Vryhof of the Society of St. John the Evangelist has a three-step process to deal with your judgment.

Read the essay.

More about 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. Sign up to receive Gathered Wisdom in your email inbox or to learn more about us at The Wisdom Years. Or send an email to Marjorie George.

Gathered Wisdom

August 3, 2021

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

Not an Option

Surrender is not an option. I cannot imagine giving up my faith In the real presence of a loving Sprit who is with us on this long walk we call life. I know goodness is there, kindness is there, compassion is there, no matter how final the triumph of fear may seem nor how great the power that holds the  human heart down. I will not abandon my belief in the coming dawn just because I dwell in the midnight hour. All the more reason to proclaim hope when hope is scarce among the waiting crowd. All the more reason to keep singing, to keep working, and to keep helping the wounded to walk. Surrender is not an option – not for those of use who have seen the light to come. – from Bishop Steven Charleston. Bishop Charleston is a Native American elder who also serves as a bishop in The Episcopal Church. This selection is from his book Ladder to the Light (Broadleaf Books, 2021). 

This week:

  • An amazing video of children coming together to sing “We Are the World”
  • Why are we afraid of solitude? – words from Richard Foster
  • How do you hear God? – listening like Samuel did
  • New on our website – we’ve added some pages

From the mouths of . . .

All 500 students from Clarksville Elementary School in Indiana worked with their music teacher over the course of the pandemic school year to create this heartwarming music video to showcase their talents and to bring smiles to the world. The exuberance and enthusiasm of these young singers remind us that they are the world, they are the future, and we can all make a better day when we stand together as one. Watch the video.  From Daily Good.

Facing the Fear of Solitude

Richard Foster

Why are we so afraid of solitude? Is it that we might find ourselves wanting in the company of God? Or do we believe the world really can’t get along with us, even for a short time? Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and founder of Renovare, offers thoughts about solitude along with several short practices for entering into it.  Read the essay. From Renovare.

Listening to God

Brother David Vryhof

“The voice of God is a persistent voice; it’s a voice that comes to us not just once (lest we should miss it) but again and again, until at last we are ready to grasp its meaning and respond to its call. So often, when we finally arrive at a place of clarity, we recognize that this call has not come to us in an instant, but has been gradually growing inside us and has finally come to its fullness.” Brother David looks at the call of Samuel as a way we might really (yes, really) hear the voice of God. 
Brother David is a member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist.
Read or listen to the entire essay. Learn more about SSJE. 

New from our website

Three new pages from The Wisdom Years website that offer wisdom for the spiritual journey in the last third of life. All include a reflection plus resources for your own investigation.

Becoming Elders – In her book The Grace in Aging, Kathleen Dowling Singh calls elders to be placeholders in society. “There is no more noble way to spend these years,” she says, “than to become an elder, to bear witness to the world as placeholders for peace, love, wisdom, and fearlessness” Read more.

Crossing Thresholds – Some thresholds are predictable and even chosen; others are thrust upon us – retirement, end of a marriage, loss of a relationship. All invite us to stop and consider rather than rush through the time of change. Read more.

Passing on the Blessing – Old Elizabeth can speak to young Mary about that which Elizabeth has witnessed over her long life: that God will reveal God’s self in the communion of two people coming together seeking God’s blessing. Read more.

Gathered Wisdom is an offering of The Wisdom Years, a ministry devoted to the spiritual journey of the last third of our lives. Sign up to subscribe to Gathered Wisdom at wisdomyears.org. Learn more about us at The Wisdom Years. Or send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com.

Gathered Wisdom, Aug 18

A weekly collection of inspiration and resources for the journey, gathered from websites, books, and pass-alongs that have been shared with us. From Spirituality in the Wisdom Years.

Stillness is vital to the world of the soul. If as you age you become more still, you will discover that stillness can be a great companion. The fragments of your life will have time to unify, and the places where your soul-shelter is wounded or broken will have time to knit and heal. – John O’Donohue, from Anam Cara

This Week:

Cultivating Self-kindness

by Cindy Bunch

Asking yourself two simple questions could be the start of a daily examen without the guilt. Editor Cindy Bunch suggests a way to do the examination of conscience without moving to a place of shame, worry, and despair.

 Notice when you are bugged. That state­ment stopped me short as I was read­ing. The things that bug me can form a low hum in my brain through­out a day. They can spoil — or threat­en to spoil — the oth­er love­ly moments of the day.
Read Two Simple Questions for Cultivating Self-Kindness
FROM: Renovare

Midwives of Hope

by Fr. Ron Rolheiser

In many societies, it is the attendance of a midwife that brings a healthy baby into the world. The same can be said for a good midwife who can bring to life the trust and hope that sometimes get lost in our later years. We not only need midwives, we can be midwives in a world that has become skeptical and cynical.

Something inside us wants to trust, to hope, to believe in the goodness of things, to again feel that trustful enthusiasm we once had as a child, when we were innocent (and “innocent” means “unwounded”), when we could still take another’s hand in trust. No one wants to be outside the circle of trust.

But it’s a struggle, an agony of sorts, as we know. We’d like to trust, but often we can’t give birth to it. That’s where a midwife can be helpful.

Read Midwives of Hope
FROM Ron Rolheiser blog

Enlarging Your Perspective

by Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE

The little boy on his first flight asked his mom when they would start getting smaller. After all, the airplanes he watched take off from the airport always got smaller as they moved across the sky.

Navigating life faithfully during the Coronavirus epidemic may be a huge challenge for you. Your experience of God may seem to be receding. Where do you look for the stability and permanence you need to navigate life not only in the best of times but in the worst of times? Here are several suggestions.

Read Enlarging Your Perspective
FROM Society of St John the Evangelist

The  Great Adventure Of Growing Older

A video with Carl Honore

Writer Carl Honore turned 50 and changed his mind about what it means to grow older. In this video, Honore looks at ways to combat ageism. 

Many of us have negative views about growing older, but in this insightful TED Talk, award-winning writer Carl Honore encourages us to adopt a new perspective. If we learn to view aging with excitement, wonder, and as one of life’s greatest adventures, we can look to our futures with hope and positivity.

Watch Why We Should View Growing Older as a Great Adventure
FROM Happify Daily

The Wisdom of Wild Grace – an online Weekend Retreat from Ireland

Oct. 3-4, 2020

With Christine Valters Paintner

This two-day virtual retreat over the Feast of St Francis will explore the gift of Earth as our original monastery. Live from Galway, Ireland, sessions will include presentations, reflections, song, meditations, poetry, creative exercises and explorations, gentle movement, small group and partner sharing, guidance for time outside in between sessions, and time for questions and input.

For details and registration
FROM Abbey of the Arts

Tell Your Story

NextAvenue, which defines itself as the “public media’s first and only national journalism service for America’s booming older population,” is looking for original essays with an insightful perspective on aging.  

In a first-of-its-kind initiative for Next Avenue, we would like to invite you, our readers, to tell your stories. From July 24 through August 31, readers age 50+ may submit a 500-word original essay focused on a topic or experience of your choosing. We’re looking for insightful essays that illuminate a truth or teach us something new.

About the essay contest
FROM Next Avenue

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

Gathered Wisdom is from Spirituality in 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 Spirituality in the Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at
ww.wisdomyears.org.

Gathered Wisdom, Aug. 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 Spirituality in the Wisdom Years.

As we come to know our soul gift more clearly, we almost always have to let go of some other “gifts” so we can do our one or two things with integrity. Such letting go frees us from always being driven by what has been called the “tyranny of the urgent.”  Soon urgency is a way of life, and things are not done peacefully from within. What if we choose to simply do one or two things wholeheartedly in our lives? That is all God expects and all we can probably do well. Too much good work becomes a violence to ourselves and, finally, to those around us.

Let’s just use our different gifts to create a unity in the work of service (Ephesians 4:12–13), and back one another up, without criticism or competition. Only in our peaceful, mutual honoring do we show forth the glory of God.

FROM: Richard Rohr Daily Meditations, July 27, 2020. 

This Week:

Gate A-4

By Naomi Shihab Nye  

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye, who lives in San Antonio, made a new friend in the Albuquerque airport, a friend who spoke only Arabic.  Read the lovely story of cultures coming together. “This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost,” concludes Nye. 

“Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning
my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement:
‘If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please
come to the gate immediately.’
Well—one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.”
Read the rest of the essay.

FROM: Kolbe Times. 
Find more poetry, essays, and conversations with Joan Chittister, Brian McLaren, Ron Rolheiser, Richard Rohr, and others at Kolbe Times. Subscribe to receive their free magazine. 

Creeping

By Br. James Koester SSJE

We are in a time of not knowing – not knowing what the future will look or when. All we can do is take one step at a time. Or even just creep along.

“There had been moments during the week when I could not imagine it was possible for me to walk another 40, or 30, or 20 miles. What I could imagine, was taking one more step. And so I did. And then another. And another. And another. That week was full of single steps.” Read the rest of the essay

FROM: Society of St. John the Evangelist

A Baptism for the Final Stage of Growth

By Caryl Ann Cosbon

Elaborate preparations are usually made during pregnancy for the new life to come. For Christians, that includes planning for the baby’s baptism. “What might be the equivalent of baptism on the other end of life’s continuum?” asks writer Caryl Ann Casbon.

“The dying often experience major spiritual and relational breakthroughs, even up to the last days of life, when defenses drop and hearts break open. Hospice professionals compare dying to the birth process and helping someone with dying as similar to the role of the midwife assisting at the birth of a baby.” Download the rest of the essay.

FROM: A resource from Center for Courage and Renewal. See their Aging with Wisdom program for upcoming retreats.  http://www.couragerenewal.org

Letting Go of False Fear

It has taken him 50 years to get over his fear of God, says Ron Rolheiser, now president of Oblate Seminary in San Antonio. 

“I’m a cradle Catholic, born to wonderful parents, catechized by some very dedicated teachers, and I’ve had the privilege of studying theology in some of the best classrooms in the world. Still it took me fifty years to rid myself of a number of crippling religious fears and to realize that God is the one person of whom you need not be afraid. It’s taken me most of my life to believe the words that come from God’s mouth over three hundred times in scripture and are the initial words out of the mouth of Jesus whenever he meets someone for the first time after his resurrection: Do not be afraid!” Read the rest of the essay.  

FROM: Ron Rolheiser blog. 

Resources to Combat Loneliness

Books, films, and practices that speak to and help alleviate loneliness. 

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 Spirituality in 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 Spirituality in the Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at
ww.wisdomyears.org.

 

Gathered Wisdom Aug. 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 Spirituality in the Wisdom Years.

Peace comes from living a measured life. Peace comes from attending to every part of my world in a sacramental way. My relationships are not what I do when I have time left over from my work . . . Reading is not something I do when life calms down. Prayer is not something I do when I feel like it. They are all channels of hope and growth for me. They must all be given their due.

Joan Chittister in Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today 

To Practice This Thought:
For one day, keep track of your activities and the approximate time you give them. What adjustments could you make to use your time more soulfully?

FROM: Spirituality and Practice

This Week:

to read or listen:

Seven Movements of the Second Half of Life

In the second half of life, says Fr. Ron Rolheiser of Oblate Seminary in San Antonio, our struggles are often very different than the first half of life. “And you can see this, biblically, in the parable of the prodigal son and the older brother. The younger son is struggling with all the things of the world – ambition, travel, lust, whatever – while the older brother is struggling much more with anger and coming to peace inside of himself. That’s a much greater struggle.” Rolheiser talks about seven movements to be adopted in the second half of life in a recent interview with Kolbe Times magazine.

FROM: Kolbe Times

Wisdom Cries Out

“How can I learn to be still? How can I make peace with a solitude I did not choose? How can I help my neighbor? How can I overcome the racism etched on my bones by my ancestors? How should we live? What does God desire? How is God involved? How can I love a God who is so mysterious? What is the Church called to become?” These are the questions we are asking today, the questions of those who hunger and thirst for wisdom, says Br. Keith Nelson of the Society of St John the Evangelist. “The signs of these times are causes and conditions calling for nothing less than the spiritual evolution of the human family: the full flowering of our capacity for Wisdom,” he says. Listen to the podcast or read the text of “The Vindication of Wisdom.” 

FROM: Society of St. John the Evangelist

e-courses
Bringing Back Elder Wisdom

In former times, our “elders” were keepers of wisdom and leaders through times of change and evolution. They held the stories that kept communities and society safe and provided touchstones for well-being and a sense of identity. True elders are soul travelers – not just chronologically, but also spiritually and intellectually: reaching back and reaching forward, reaching in and reaching out into the world and the human ecology that connects us. This online retreat from the Center for Courage and Renewal welcomes individuals seeking the opportunity for reflection and renewal as a means of illuminating their own life journey, or enhancing their leadership role in work, organizational or community settings. Learn more about the retreat

FROM: Center for Courage and Renewal 

practices

Through the Lens of Contemplation

If you enjoy reflecting on your experiences through the glimpses of life you discover by taking photos, then the Contemplative Photographers Practice Group may be for you. Now in its sixth year, this supportive community receives a theme suggestion every week, and members share photos, ideas, and inspiration with each other. Newcomers and returning members are welcome. Learn about it.

FROM: Spirituality and Practice 

Put Yourself in the Story

Ignatian contemplation, also known as Composition of Place, involves “composing the place” by imagining yourself in the story of scripture. Using our imagination, we place ourselves in the scene of the story, engaging our senses with wonder.  A post from Grow Christians does a walk-through of the Feeding of the 5,000, but this exercise is fruitful with any scripture. Engage the practice. 

FROM: Grow Christians

watch for
Black Church Documentary Coming to PBS

A two-part PBS series hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr is scheduled to run next year and look at the deep history of the Black church and culture of African American faith communities. Gates has said that the Black Church is a “story of grace and resilience, struggle and redemption, hope and healing.”  The documentary will feature interviews with Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Bishop Michael Curry, Cornel West, Pastor Shirley Caesar and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Gates is a literary critic and academic who’s become well known as the host of the popular Finding Your Roots series. Learn more.

FROM: Relevant Magazine