Gathered Wisdom, Nov 8

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

Our words and actions will contribute either to reconciliation and peace, or to conflict and strife. We need to be reminded again and again that what we choose to think, what we choose to say, and what we choose to do will shape our lives and the lives of others. We have an important role to play in creating our reality.

Br. David Vryhof,
Society of St. John the Evangelist.

A Prayer for election day

Gracious and loving God, you have bound us together in a common life. We commend ourselves, our communities, states, and country to your merciful care, that, being guided by your providence, we may dwell secure in your peace.

Read the rest of the prayer by the Rev. Mike Marsh.

From Interrupting the Silence.

The Holy Water We Share

“I was not imagining two separate yards with neighbors leaning over a shared boundary. I was imagining a single reservoir of living water, with two people looking into it. One might have been a Muslim and the other a Christian, but there was nothing in their faces to tell me that.”

Read the reflection from Barbara Brown Taylor.

Found in Daily Meditations from the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Everything Happens for A Reason & Other Lies I’ve Loved

Kate Bowler believed, as do many Americans, that God gives good things to good people and reserves bad things for bad people. But then how could she justify her cancer diagnosis at the age of 35?

Watch the video or read the transcript.

Found in Daily Good.

Waiting on God

There are so many variables in life over which we have little, if any, control. Rather than seeing life as a series of obstacles, frustrations, and impenetrable questions, we could instead see life as an endless stream of invitations to cooperate with whatever God is up to, and to abandon ourselves into God’s hands and God’s time.

Read the reflection.

From Society of St. John the Evangelist.

Adverbs for Advent
A Wisdom Years Collaborative Study

How will we live Advent this year? Generously? Expectantly? Patiently? As we read daily meditations from Marilyn McEntye’s Adverbs for Advent, we’ll gather on Zoom weekly to share inspiration and encouragement. Advent begins November 27.

Find all the information and indicate interest on our Wisdom Years website page.

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 1, All Saints Day

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

I have been out walking with ghosts again, the shimmering images of my ancestors,
always present, but barely visible, walking before me in the cool shadows of evening.
I know better than to talk too much, for silence is the language of the sacred.
Instead I listen, as any youngster should,
the wisdom of those who have seen more seasons than can be counted.
I receive their thoughts like a benediction.
I hold their vision in my mind like a familiar dream.
Do not be afraid, they whisper, as we walk on to find the moon already waiting.
– Bishop Steven Charleston, Facebook, October 26, 2022

Bold, Brash, and Incredibly Audacious

On this All Saints Day, Br. James Koester of the Society of St. John the Evangelist reminds us that for the Christian, death is not the ultimate disaster, for in Jesus, life is changed, not ended (from The Book of Common Prayer p 382) and death becomes not the end, but a door, not a wall, but a gate, not the end, but a new beginning.

Read the reflection.

From Society of St. John the evangelist.

A Communion with the Saints

Fr. Ron Rolheiser reflects on the death of his parents and on a book in which the husband feels his deceased wife’s presence. This is a must-read for anyone who has recently lost a loved one.

Read the reflection.

From Ron Rolheiser.

The Continuum of Life

Writing in Center for Action and Contemplation’s daily meditations, Dr. Barbara Holmes says the normal pattern in history is for each generation to pass over, and to build the bridges of love and trust for the next generation coming afterwards. We are all part of a continuum of life that does not end with death, but transitions to a life after life.

Read the reflection.

From Center for Action and Contemplation.

Restorative power in sanctuary

When we become untethered, says Terry Hershey, we lose our way. We feel disconnected and wearied. “In our world so full of diversions and distractions, I see the toll untethering takes. And this disconnect matters more because we forget that we are here to walk one another home.”

Read the reflection.

From Sabbath Moment.

Loneliness and the Second Half of Life

Both the young and the old experience spells of loneliness. In the second half of life we come to the realization that there is a part of us that will always be alone. We would do well to listen to the Persian poet Hafiz, who cautions us not to surrender to loneliness too quickly.

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, Oct 25

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

Though your destination is not yet clear,
You can trust the promise of this opening.
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

John O’Donohue, “For a New Beginning”

Found in Well for the Journey

Catching up to who we are

When we push people away to keep ourselves protected and safe, we end up being alone and isolated. When we guard ourselves against people who are different from us, we lose some of ourselves too.

Read the reflection.

From Terry Hershey.

Unlearning And Climbing Down Ladders

“The way down is the way up,” says Richard Rohr. In thinking about that, Joanna Seibert comes to realize that we are always learning and unlearning, climbing up and climbing down. In our spiritual life, the descent becomes an ascent as our outer life becomes less important and our inner life becomes heard.

Read the short reflection.

From Joanna Seibert.

Justice is Love in Action

Talking about justice is not the same as doing justice, says contemplative activist and Episcopal priest Adam Bucko.  Writing in a daily meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation, Bucko outlines concrete steps to begin a practice of contemplative action.

Read the reflection.

From the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Struggling with our Complexity

What is normal? What does it look like to be a normal human being? Fr. Ron Rolheiser believes it includes being complex and accepting that. “We aren’t necessarily over-greedy, over-sexed, or over-restless,” he says. “We are just normal human beings, walking around inside of human skin.  That’s what real life feels like!”

Read the essay.

More about Ron Rolheiser.

Pilgrims Journeying Within

As we close our study of Pilgrims Journeying Within this week, we are reminded that the spiritual journey never ends. We never arrive at a destination, but we learn so much on the path. Find readings and reflection prompts for “Coming Home,” the last chapter of The Soul of a Pilgrim here https://wisdomyears.org/journeying-within-our-next-online-offering/the-practice-of-coming-home/

Readings, reflections prompts, and practices for all chapters of he book are on the WisdomYears website at
https://wisdomyears.org/journeying-within-our-next-online-offering/

The study is good for individuals on their own or for small groups.

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, Oct 18

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

I will not allow my life’s light to be determined by the darkness around me.

Sojourner Truth, The Book of Life
From Well for the Journey 

  A Lesson in Aging

“I always thought of myself as young,” says Fr. Ron Rolheiser, “even as the years piled up and my body began to betray my conception of myself as young.” Our souls, however, don’t age says Rolheiser – they mature. And in these later years, the soul wants to delve ever deeper into “the mystery of life, of community, of God, and of itself.”

Read the reflection.

From Kolbe Times.

A Second Gaze

Growing older gives us the opportunity for a second look at a situation. It is then that God offers us the grace to weep over our sins more than to perfectly overcome them, to humbly recognize our littleness rather than to become big.

Read the reflection.

From the Center for Action and Contemplation.

A Flower’s Job Is To Bloom

Who makes us feel important? Do we seek acclaim from a particular group? If we do, says writer Srikumar Rao, we are putting ourselves into a prison and handing that person or group the key.

Read the essay.

From Awakin.

 

To Care

To care for the aging,” says Henri Nouwen in this meditation,  “means first of all to enter into close contact with your own aging self, to sense your own time, and to experience the movements of your own life cycle.”

Read the brief meditation.

From the Henri Nouwen Society.

Pilgrims Journeying Within

What if we embraced the unknown as sacred wisdom for the unfolding of our lives? What if we welcomed all that distresses and disorients us as having something to teach us? Chapter 7 of The Soul of a Pilgrim is The Practice of Embracing the Unknown.

Find reflection prompts and a weekly practice for The Soul of a Pilgrim study here.

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, Oct. 11

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

Be confused, it’s where you begin to learn new things.

Be broken, it’s where you begin to heal.

Be frustrated, it’s where you start to make more authentic decisions.

Be whatever you are right now.

You are worthy, always.

S.C. Lourie@butterfliesandpebbles
From Well for the Journey

Autumn Prayer of Acceptance

Gracious God of every turning season, your earth teaches me by her natural turning from one season to another. As she enters into the dying and rising cycle, she welcomes the changes.

Read the complete prayer.

Submitted by a friend and found on the webpage of Hanover Missionary Church.

Loving Things in Themselves

Richard Rohr believes that the only way to know how to love God is to love what God loves; “only then do we love with divine love and allow it to flow through us,” says Rohr.

Read the reflection.

From the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Summer’s Exodus

This summer, author Melanie Gillgrist learned that if she unclenches her hands, she will see that God has everything under control. Whatever manna God sends will be sufficient.

Read the essay.

From Renovare.

God’s Holy Vulnerables

Brother Sean Glenn of the Society of St. John the Evangelist writes about two different kinds of wisdom. The wisdom of the world is born of competition and comparison; it originates in our desire to define good and evil on our own limited terms. But biblical wisdom is born from the generous gift of God’s own experiential self-disclosure in Jesus.

Read or listen to the sermon.

From Society of St. John the Evangelist.

Pilgrims Journeying Within

Sometimes we have to begin again. Something isn’t working, and the best we can do is start over. Do we meet that with joyful expectation, or with dread and distress? This week’s chapter in The Soul of a Pilgrim encourages us to always be beginning again.

Find the study material here.

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, Oct 4

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

Olive trees in Assisi village in Umbria region, Italy.

Every object or force of nature, every creature, was a gift in St. Francis’ eyes, and he recognized his deep connection with them all. We need his witness today to remind us of the sacredness of every plant, every animal, and every person that calls it home. We are stewards of this earth; not owners with license to use its resources in whatever way we wish.

Br. David Vryhof, SSJE
Read More.

A Mystical Way of Life

On this feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the Center for Action and Contemplation tells us that St. Francis found his calling when he met a leper on the road and was compelled to hug him. “He knew then what he was to do with his life: to embrace Jesus in the poor and rejected, in those who previously had repulsed him,” writes Franciscan priest and author Murray Bodo. 

Read the story.

From the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise

Authors Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz have studied the power of silence in our world and conclude that “There is a deep yearning for silence in a world of more and more noise.” Certainly, mindfulness meditation has come into favor in recent years, but, say the authors, a “one size fits all” approach does not work. 

Read an excerpt from the new book Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise.

Found in Daily Good. 

Dealing with Loss, Grief, and Obsessions

“When we are driven to our knees by loss and frustration, the best, and only useful, thing we can do is to genuflect in helplessness before a God who can help us and express our affection to anyone who can support us,” writes Fr. Ron Rolheiser in this essay about dealing with grief. Time will heal the wound, says Rolheiser, but its rhythm cannot be rushed.

Read the essay.

More about Ron Rolheiser.

Three word theology

Much of our faith can be expressed in three words: God is love, Love your neighbor, Here am I. Three words in the Gospel of Luke – “Increase our faith” – spoken by the disciples to Jesus brought this realization to author Diana Butler Bass one recent Sunday morning.

Read the brief reflection.

From The Cottage.

Pilgrims Journeying Within

In week 5 of our study, we consider the practice of being uncomfortable. Author Christine Valters Paintner says that when we are able to stay present – to not run away – in uncomfortable circumstances, we open a space to grow spiritually. We must learn to “dance at the edge” of our discomfort.

Join the study.

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, Sept 27

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

Despite all the darkness, human hope is based on the instinct that at the deepest level of reality some intimate kindness holds sway.

-John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us

Leave All and Follow Me

To grow spiritually means to leave behind that which has become too comfortable, says Br. Geoffrey Tristram. To let go of our habits, our compulsions.  “It is each morning awakening to a new day and saying to God, ‘Where do you want to lead me today on the journey of life? What are you asking me to leave behind? How are you asking me to change?’”  We resist change, but it’s how we grow. 

Read the sermon.

From Society of St. John the Evangelist.

Reimaging

Jesus came to show us what God looks like with skin on. Incarnation is a re-imaging of God and re-imagining what a relationship with God can look like. We are called to form a new concept we have not seen before.

Read the short reflection.

From Joanna Seibert.

Grounding Power of Kindness

When Native Americans went on a hunt or a vision quest or long journey, they took with them a small medicine pouch that contained special objects reminding them of spiritual power: perhaps a feather, a bit of fur, a claw, a carved root, a pinch of tobacco, a pebble or a shell. They were to be reminders of the sources of healing and bounty and beauty. 

Read the reflection. 

From Sabbath Moment by Terry Hershey.

Being Blessed by Pagan Friends

Fr. Ron Rolheiser finds that his pagan friends, who have no use for organized religion, often bring positive energy, goodness, love, intelligence, humor, and sunshine into a room. It is a wonderful thing and should be blessed.

Read the reflection.

More about Ron Rolheiser.

Pilgrims Journeying Within

The inner journey asks us to set aside our own plans and agendas and follow where the path takes us. We yield to a greater presence at work in our lives.

Join us for chapter 4, Making the Way by Walking from The Soul of a Pilgrim. Reflection prompts and a weekly practice are on the Wisdom Years web page.

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, Sept. 20

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

Communion

We do not live in isolation. We are part of something much bigger, and our quest for God must go hand in hand with our quest to live in a right relationship with creation; a relationship not of estrangement, but of union, communion, and harmony.

Br. James Koester, Society of St. John the Evangelist.

A Ripening Mind and Heart

Richard Rohr describes our later years as a time of ripening. At its best, says Rohr, ripening is a slow, patient learning, and sometimes even a happy letting go—a seeming emptying out to create readiness for a new kind of fullness—which we are never sure about.

Read the reflection.

From the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Deepening Our Comfort with Uncertainty

We are united in the fact that “life invites us to show up again and again into mystery,” says Br. David Steindl-Rast. “There are no guarantees — only exquisite unknowns. We do not know exactly how or when we will die, and there is no single formula for how best to live. We do not know how life is going to unfold — in the grand scheme and also in its minutiae — and we cannot be in charge of most all of it.”

Read the essay.

Found in Daily Good.

The Soul of Knowledge

The heart must teach the intellect to know God by loving him,  not to love God by knowing him. “Without love, our knowledge is lifeless,” says Br. Keith Nelson of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. The understanding that God is pure mystery is a sign of wisdom and is at the heart of the Christian journey. 

Read the essay.

From Society of St. John the Evangelist.

Spiritual Compass

We each have a spiritual compass that points us toward the good and the holy. It becomes more accurate as we age. We won’t get lost if we follow where our heart leads and our reason points.

Read the short reflection.

From Joanna Seibert. 

Pilgrims Journeying Within, week 3

The pilgrim journey will always bring us to thresholds. It’s liminal time, when the old has been completed but the new has not yet begun. It is a time of uncertainty, but also a time of great possibilities.

Join us for the 8-week course from The Wisdom Years. Find the material here.

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, Sept. 13

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

[T]he message of the heart becomes clearer when the mind is quiet. 

Doc Childre, The HeartMath Solution

From Well for the Journey









Searching for Wholeness and Completeness

The parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin are about more than an animal and some money. They are about finding wholeness, says The Rev. Mike Marsh., rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Uvalde, Texas.

Read the sermon. 

From Interrupting the Silence.  

We All Need Forgiveness

When we have been forgiven, we are more likely to forgive others. When we have known mercy, we can show mercy. The entire gospel is about forgiveness, says Richard Rohr.

Read the reflection.

From the Center for Action and Contemplation.

On Love

“All you need is love,” sang the Beatles. We should have listened to them. “We have become disconnected from this feeling of Love. All other issues find their roots here,” writes Justin Faerman in this reflection.

Read the reflection.

Found in Awakin.

Stone Jars and Softer Containers

Do things have more value if we have worked hard for them, have stuck to the rules, have been earnest and obedient? Do we need our theological expression to come from stone jars? Fr. Ron Rolheiser struggles with this in his reflection.

Read the reflection.

From the blog of Ron Rolheiser.

Pilgrims Journeying Within

Going on pilgrimage requires that we pack lightly. Join us this Thursday, September 15, as we discern what to leave in, what to leave out for our journey inward. Using The Soul of a Pilgrim by Christine Valters Paintner as a guide, together we prepare for the journey ahead. Join us on Zoom  every Thursday, 4 p.m. (Central time).

For all the information, visit our website:

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 30

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

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.

John Lubbock, The Use Of Life

From Well for the Journey

Out of the Head, Into the Heart: The Way of the Human Being

The Unangan (Aleut) people find their instructions for living not from their heads but from their hearts. Unangan Elders, says Ilarion Merculieff, “know that even more important than a scientific understanding of how the world works is a spiritual understanding of human limits and our proper place within the web of creation.”

Read the essay.

Found in Daily Good.

A Sheep Lost and Found

The sheep was just eating grass and then he suddenly realized he was all alone. He cried, and the shepherd discovered that one was missing and went in search of it. That’s what God is like, says Howard Thurman in a 1951 sermon.  That’s what it is like when we lose our community.

Read the sermon.

From the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Wonder Increases As Speed Decreases

The more we slow down, the more we see. “As we cover less ground, we uncover more; as we narrow the field of view, our horizons expand.,” says David Haskell. He spent a year watching one square meter of forest and discovered in it more life than he could ever have imagined.

Read the reflection.

From Awakin.

One God, One Guidance System, and One Road for Us All

God has a larger perspective than we do, says Fr. Ron Rolheiser. We are concerned about all the people who don’t believe in God or don’t go to church, or have no faith. God is not worried. God has the big view. We are headed in the same direction.

Read the reflection.

From Fr. Ron Rolheiser.

Pilgrims Journeying Within
starts online Sept 8

A pilgrim, says Mark Nepo, is one who journeys and is transformed by the journey. In the last third of our lives,  the journey we take is one of coming to ourselves – stripped down, unencumbered, gently guided by God’s spirit through the blessings and burdens of this time.

We will journey together in the next online offering from The Wisdom Years as we gather weekly on Zoom. Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within by Christine Valters Paintner will be our guide book. For details and to indicate your interest, visit our website at https://wisdomyears.org/journeying-within/. Or just send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com.  

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.