Bishop’s Spring Retreat: April 16 – 18

Special invitation from the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

Adults are invited to gather at Camp Capers in Waring, Texas for the Annual The Good, the True, & the Beautiful: Bishop’s Spring Retreat. Focused on the arts, creativity, and spirituality, the retreat will take place Friday, April 16, through Sunday, April 18th, 2021.

Hosted by Bishop David Reed, the weekend will feature two keynote speakers, afternoon breakout sessions, workshops focused on creativity, open mic night, worship, time for personal reflection, and fellowship. 

As keynote guests, Dr. John Price (Houston-based therapist, retreat leader, and musician) and Patrice Pike (Austin-based musician and founder of Step Onward, a nonprofit for young adult survivors of homelessness) will share how self-knowledge and life experiences can inform luminous stories and songs of faith.

More details, including words of welcome from the guests, workshop listings, weekend schedule, and pricing are listed on the event page. Find it here.

Gathered Wisdom, April 6

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.

With Thanks to the Field Sparrow, Whose Voice is so Delicate and Humble

By Mary Oliver

I do not live happily or comfortably
with the cleverness of our times.
The talk is all about computers,
the news is all about bombs and blood.
This morning, in the fresh field,
I came upon a hidden nest.
It held four warm, speckled eggs.
I touched them.
Then went away softly,
having felt something more wonderful
than all the electricity of New York City.

—— From Devotions, the Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, page 73

Overflowing with Gratefulness

An online study from The Wisdom Years.
For four weeks,
starting April 15, 2021
4 to 5:15 p.m. (Central time)


When we are grateful, says Brother David Steindl-Rast of The Network for Grateful Living, our hearts fill up and overflow like a bowl with joy and contentment. Our culture teaches that we should fill our bowls with material goods, and when the bowl is full we should get a bigger and better one and buy more goods to fill it. But then it never overflows.

There is a better way. A way that recognizes that enough is enough and true joy consists of being grateful for what we have.

In our four-week study, we will
– consider how we can live knowing that what we have and what we are is all we need
– learn to “hold space” for the possibilities for joy and contentment our God reveals to us
– look at practices that open us to awareness of blessings that call forth grateful living


To learn more and sign up for the study.
or send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com.

Slowing Down

From Daily Good, April 5, 2021. 

This meditative video from Green Renaissance goes on a journey of slowing down and appreciating more of nature. It reminds us to slow our own pace so we can feed our souls.  Green Renaissance  is a passionate collective of four creatives, on a journey to share positive stories. 

Watch the video.

Visit https://www.patreon.com/greenrenaissance to see more videos and consider supporting their work.

A Second Look at the Resurrection

By Joanna Seibert

How do we explain the fact that no one recognized the resurrected Jesus? “The disciples on the road to Emmaus after the resurrection did not recognize [Jesus]. Mary Magdalene did not recognize him. The disciples meeting Jesus on the beach were not sure who he was. Jesus came and went through closed doors. The resurrected Jesus gave fishing tips, cooked meals, and ate dinner with his friends.”

Read the essay.

Following Jesus – Be Ready for Some Surprises

By Fr. Ron Rolheiser

“We often attempt to imitate Jesus by trying to copy his actions. It works this way: Jesus did certain things, so we should do them too. He taught, healed, consoled the downtrodden, went off into the desert by himself, stayed up all night occasionally and prayed, and visited the homes of sinners. So we should do the same things: We should become teachers, nurses, preachers, counsellors, monks, social workers, and non-judgemental friends to the less-than-pious.”

Read the essay.

It Couldn’t Be Clearer

–by Betsey Crawford, syndicated from kosmosjournal.org, Apr 03, 202, found in Daily Good

“It will be years before we comprehend the full effect of this pandemic. But we can already see that we are all completely, intimately, and sometimes desperately interrelated.”

Read the essay. (It’s long, but worth a serious read.)

Contemplative Earth Awareness

An online retreat day from Shalem Institute
Material available April 7 – June 23, 2021.

This individual online retreat day consists of video and audio teaching, which you can access on your computer or tablet, poetry for reading and contemplation, guided meditation audio, reflection questions and invitations into silence. Ann Dean, a spiritual director and nationally-known leader of retreats and conferences for deepening the life of prayer, invites you to deepen your contemplative Earth awareness by opening more fully to the divine loving Presence in all living beings.

For more information.

Living from the Spiritual Heart

An online course from Shalem Institute
Material available April 11, 2021 – May 23, 2021

 Join Tilden Edwards, Shalem’s founder and senior fellow, for six weekly sessions. With material designed specifically for this eCourse, Tilden offers video teachings, guided meditations, reflection questions, and midweek check-in emails. Material may accessed at any time within the course date timeframe. Material will be available for an extra 2 weeks after the course ends.

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.



Overflowing with Gratefulness

An online study from The Wisdom Years
Four weeks: April 15, 22, 29, May 6, 2021
4 to 5:15 p.m. (Central time)

When we are grateful, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, our hearts fill up and overflow like a bowl with joy and contentment. Our culture teaches that we should fill our bowls with material goods, and when the bowl is full we should get a bigger and better one and buy more goods to fill it. But then it never overflows.

We have learned, in these later years, to find joy and contentment not in material goods, nor in prestige or power or accomplishments. We have left behind the need for more and more as we divest ourselves of all that used to propel us but now seems hollow.

It is easy to see our older years as filled with losses – the loss of physical abilities, the loss of those who die or move away to be near children, the loss of being needed. But what if we looked instead for opportunities for gratefulness where we never expected to find them, even in the losses.

 In our exploration into gratefulness, we will:

  • consider how we can live these years knowing that what we have and what we are is all that we need.
  • learn to “hold space” for the possibilities for joy and contentment our God reveals to us.
  • look at practices that open us to awareness of blessings that call forth grateful living.

We will gather on Zoom each week for a brief teaching, using material from A Network for Grateful Living and other sources, then break into small groups for discussion and reflection. As we gather, we will be attentive to the Holy Spirit, learning from each other and from the revelations of our own life experiences.

We invite you to join us. We welcome people of all faiths. There is no cost for the study.

To learn more about this study or about The Wisdom Years,
send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com or marjorie.george@dwtx.org.

This study is offered by The Wisdom Years,
a ministry of those in the last third of their lives, but is open to people of all ages.

To learn more: Wisdomyears.org

Gathered Wisdom, March 23, 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.

Silence

We’re invited to practice remaining still before the Lord, ready to notice the visit from an angel delivering God’s Divine message of Silence. As this luminous darkness unfolds within, a peace and joy, beautiful beyond beauty, is born in our hearts, like a flower blooming in the desert. Out of this fertile silence, God’s Eternal Word is born, and so we bear the fruit of Christ’s Light by word, deed, and presence in the world.

Br. Nicholas Bartoli
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Holy Week

Holy Week begins Sunday, March 28, with the Palm Sunday ritual of recalling Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Whatever Holy Week means to you – whether you attend formal worship services every day as an act of contrition and faithfulness or merely celebrate Easter as an indication of the arrival of spring, this week is an opportunity to quietly sit with God, in the garden if you like.

As Brother Bartoli notes above, this week offers an opportunity to engage  a practice of intentional silence and solitude for a brief period each day. One possibility is the use of the Centering Prayer method taught by Thomas Keating.

Learn more about Centering Prayer and other quiet practices at Contemplative Outreach. 

The brothers of SSJE offer resources for praying each day of Holy Week with selections of music, sermons, videos, and photographs.

Find the full range of resources here. 

Below see worship opportunities for Holy Week from Washington National Cathedral and the Society of St. John the Evangelist. 

The Agony in the Garden – The Special Place of Loneliness

By Fr. Ron Rolheiser

“It’s Jesus, the lover, the one who calls us to intimacy and delight with him, who sweats blood in the garden. That’s why, in describing his suffering during his passion, the evangelists focus little on his physical sufferings (which must have been horrific). Indeed, Mark puts it all in a single line: ‘They led him away and crucified him.’ What the gospel writers focus on is not the scourging, the whips, the ropes, the nails, the physical pain, none of that. They emphasize rather that, in all of this, Jesus is alone, misunderstood, lonely, isolated, without support, unanimity-minus-one.”

Read the essay.

Unless …

By the Rev. Mike Marsh
From a sermon preached on March 21, 2021

“We all have our ‘unlesses.’ They are lenses through which we see. They are the restrictions, limitations, and conditions that shape and inform our relationships and understanding of each other, Jesus, and ourselves.”

Read the sermon.

Musing on the Season

By Parker Palmer
From Daily Good

“I love the fact that the word ‘humus’–the decayed vegetable matter that feeds the roots of plants–comes from the same word root that gives rise to the word ‘humility.’ It is a blessed etymology. It helps me understand that the humiliating events of life, the events that leave ‘mud on my face’ or that ‘make my name mud,’ may create the fertile soil in which something new can grow.”

Read the essay.

Worship Opportunities for Holy Week

From Washington National Cathedral

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
Sunday, March 28, 11:15am (Eastern time)

The Cathedral opens Holy Week with a service marking the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and move to the story of Christ’s utter rejection and crucifixion outside the gates of the city.

This live webcast will be available on the Cathedral’s website, Facebook and YouTube channels.

Maundy Thursday
April 1, 7 pm (Eastern time)
Holy Eucharist with Stripping of the Altar

Maundy Thursday begins the Great Three Days (The Triduum) as we remember the Last Supper, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane and Jesus’ journey to the cross and crucifixion.

This service will be streamed on the Cathedral’s website.

Good Friday
Friday, April 2, 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday

On this most solemn of days, we offer a service of scripture, music, ancient prayer to mark the suffering, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ.

This service will be streamed here on the Cathedral’s website, YouTube page and Facebook page.

Easter Sunday,
April 4, 11:15 am (Eastern time)
Festival Holy Eucharist

The Cathedral proclaims the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead through word and song in a festive service marking the beginning of the Easter season.

The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith presides and the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde preaches.

The service will be streamed on the Cathedral’s website, YouTube page and Facebook page. 

From Society of St. John the Evangelist

All the major liturgies of Holy Week will be live-streamed at SSJE.org/chapel or on the Friends of SSJE Facebook page.

Times are Eastern.

The Sunday of the Passion:
Palm Sunday – March 28

9:00 am – Blessing of Palms & Holy Eucharist
4:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Maundy Thursday– April 1
7:30 pm – Holy Eucharist with Foot-washing
9:00 pm-7:00 am – Watch before the Reserved Sacrament

Good Friday – April 2
7:30 pm – Liturgy of the Passion and Holy Communion

Holy Saturday – April 3
6:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Sunday of the Resurrection:
Easter Day – April 4

4:30 am – The Great Vigil of Easter
5:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Gathered Wisdom is taking its own advice and sitting in silence next week. We will return on Tuesday, April 6. We wish you a joyous Easter.

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, March 16

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.

New on the Wisdom Years website: Our book study on The Gift of Years by Joan Chittister, with suggestions for doing the study and reflection questions for every chapter. If you want to offer the study in your church or group, let us know. We will be happy to get you started. Find it here.

“I think spiritual wisdom is not the measure of how much we know, but how much we have learned. Knowledge can become static, a museum of dogmas, a warehouse of opinions. We discover wisdom over and over again when what we think we know meets what we have never encountered before.”—Bishop Steven Charleston, Daily Facebook Page.

From Daily Something
by Joanna Seibert

Walking Away Out of Sorrow

By Fr. Ron Rolheiser
“What do we do when we’re depressed? What’s our temptation when a dream is shattered, when we feel betrayed, and when it seems like the trust we’ve shown someone was childish naivete? Generally the temptation is to gather what pride we have left and walk away, away from that person, away from that place of rejection, away from the humiliation, and away from our former dream, all the while saying to ourselves: ‘I’ll never trust in this way again! I’ve been burned, taken in, I now know the lesson!’ ”

Read the essay.

Joining Our Wildernesses

By Liz Tichenor
From Daily Good
“We are living through a relentless constellation of loss, and I hear a near constant attempt to downplay just how hard it is. Asked how we’re doing, I utter such words too: ‘Of course it is impossible for me to work full-time and homeschool my children, but — but!’ — I race ahead in the same breath — ‘it is a wonder to be so involved in their learning.’ The gratitude is genuine. And it is so tempting to push my weary appreciation forward, eclipsing how untenable this situation really is.”

Read the essay.

Grateful Voices

From A Network for Grateful Living
“In the summer of 2020, while all of us around the globe were isolated in some way from those we love, award-winning photographer and filmmaker Doug Menuez found a way for us to gather safely, outdoors, to listen closely to the stories of seven individuals for whom grateful living is a way of life.” From Claire’s story: “I think the real gift of a handicap — I don’t know about a disease — is that you, you come to a place where you know you can’t do something. And if you hold on there, something emerges. There is always another way to go. Always.”

To watch Claire’s video or read the transcript.

To watch more films in the Grateful Voices series.

Living in the Communion of Saints

From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations
At the conclusion of a week of daily meditations on the communion of saints, Rohr summarizes each day’s offerings then offers a practice of seven “homecomings.” Each of the seven is an opportunity to recognize the persons and circumstances that have been our “circle of care.”

See the practice of Seven Homecomings.
(Scroll down the page to see the practices.)

How to Love the World: A Poetry Practice Invitation

A four-week poetry writing experience
April 1-22
From A Network for Grateful Living 
“As we emerge into a new way of being and living with open and curious hearts, we invite you during National Poetry Month to make writing a part of your own gratefulness practice, using weekly poems and prompts shared by James Crews to touch in on your own lived and everyday experiences. We invite you to meet each practice day with openness and creativity, allowing the poems to take you in your own directions and never feeling as though you need to follow the prompts exactly. Mark Nepo has called poetry ‘the unexpected utterance of the soul,’ and there can be no right or wrong when it comes to the poems, essays, stories, or journal entries we hope you might draw up from the depths of your being over this next month.”

Registration is free and will close on Wednesday, March 31, at 3:00 PM, EDT.
For more information and to register.

Holy Week Retreat: Stations of the Cross in Art History

Zoom Retreat facilitated by Judith Davis
From Monasteries of the Heart
Good Friday, April 2 from 2:00-4:30 p.m. ET
“The retreat will be led by long-time Monasteries of the Heart member, Benedictine Oblate, Episcopal priest, and art historian Judith Davis. The Zoom retreat will include a short history of the use of the Stations of the Cross and then focus on historical and contemporary portrayals of the Stations. Join us for this time of prayer, reflection, and learning.” 

For more information and registration.

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, March 9

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.

New on The Wisdom Years website: Blogs and Sites we Like, many of which you will recognize from our Gathered Wisdom posts: and A Model for Parish Ministry, for those who want to take the ideas of The Wisdom Years into their congregations. Find it here.

The Coming of Wisdom with Time

Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun,
Now may I wither into the truth.
– William Butler Yeats

Eldering in the Age of Consumption

A conversation with Sharon Blackie and Stephen Jenkinson
From Daily Good
“Perhaps more than anything, to become elder is to be comfortable with your place in the world, finally to have understood where all of your various journeys have been leading you, to understand your gifts as well as your limitations, and to tightly focus those gifts on service to the earth and to community . . . To step into your power means to trust yourself, your instincts, and your intuition. To let the fear go and the shame and tell the stories which need to be told.”

Read the conversation.

Wisdom beyond the Veil

by Fr. Richard Rohr
from Daily Meditations

“The ancestors are elders who pour their lives into the community as a libation of love and commitment. They live and die well, and when they transition, they do so in full connection with an engaged community. Thereafter, they dwell in the spaces carved out by our spiritual and cultural expectations. They may be in another life dimension, but they connect with us in dreams, in memories, and in stories. . . .”

Read the meditation.

Cleaning Out And Enlarging Life 

by the Rev. Mike Marsh
“Business as usual can happen anywhere: in friendships, marriages, parenting, work, church. It’s all the habits and routines we fall into that cause us to sleep walk through this world. We look but we don’t see, we listen but we don’t hear, we speak but don’t say anything.”

Read the sermon preached on March 7, 2021

A Time to Weep

by Sister Joan Chittister
“On this planet, psychic numbing has been raised to high art. This people avoids pain and misery, in others as well as in themselves, at all costs. This is not a people who braves grief in the face and stares it down. No, this people dedicates itself to the elimination of pain—its own—and the aversion of pain—everyone else’s. But grief comes nevertheless.”

Read the essay.

Pray for Hope and Healing

from Shalem Institute
March 11 and every Thursday
4:30-5:00pm ET

Knowing how powerful it is to bring our focus of love and goodness and truth as a community to these unprecedented times, Shalem Institute offers an intentional and designated time to join in silent prayer for hope and healing of the world.  There will be an opening and closing vocal prayer, but the time will be primarily in silence together with this common intent.

For more information.

Navigating Life’s Passages: Wisdom for Times of Crisis

A four-session workshop
facilitated by Ron Pevny
author of Conscious Living, conscious Aging
From Sage-ing International

Wednesdays
March 31, April 7, 14, 21
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm ET

Successfully moving and growing through change—as opposed to trying futilely to hold on to a past that no longer supports true aliveness—requires that certain dynamics be recognized, honored and supported.  There will be special, but certainly not exclusive, focus on the transition from mid-life adulthood into elderhood.

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, March 2, 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.

You enter life a ship laden with meaning, purpose and gifts
sent to be delivered to a hungry world.
And as much as the world needs your cargo,
you need to give it away.
Everything depends on this.

– Greg Kimura –
From Daily Good, March 2, 2021

Encouragement in Difficult Times

from the Rev. Joanna Seibert
Daily Something

“We are not done yet. We may count our progress in inches. We may swim against the deep tides of greed and hate, but we are not done yet. Even if we do not live to see it all, we will be content to be the inspiration, to give all we have to free our world from fear.”—Steven Charleston, Daily Facebook Page.

Read Joanna Seibert’s thoughts on Charleston’s observation.

Consecrated by Circumstance and Need

from Fr. Ron Rolheiser
“Today the word consecration has lost much of its rich meaning. We have relegated the word to the sacristy and over-loaded it with connotations of purity and cult. That’s unfortunate because both what’s best in our humanity and our faith are forever trying to consecrate us. The needs and wounds of our world are constantly asking us to suspend our radical freedom, to set aside our own agendas, in order to serve.”

Read the essay.

Dining at the Table of the Lord

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

“It is true to say that Christ, who will be present to us in communion, comes first to those who are listening in ‘the word of God… living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword,’ and as the one who ‘speaks words that are spirit and life.’ We speak of the Real Presence, but we could just as easily speak of the real presences, for Jesus who comes to us in Bread and Wine, Body and Blood, comes to us first in gathered community, Word proclaimed, prayers offered, sins forgiven, and peace restored.”

Read the essay.

The Heart of Aging with Wisdom 

Series III and IV
Thursdays in March and April 2021
Webinar from Sage-ing International

The Heart of Aging series is a program offering rich opportunities for personal growth, suitable for people interested in aging with purpose, designed to engage and inspire participants with healthy, spirited conversation and interaction.

For more information.

Another Name for Every Thing 

Podcast from Fr. Richard Rohr
Center for Action and Contemplation

“Another Name for Every Thing” with Richard Rohr is a conversational podcast series on the deep connections between action and contemplation. Richard is joined by two students of the Christian contemplative path, Brie Stoner and Paul Swanson, who seek to integrate the wisdom amidst diapers, disruptions, and the shifting state of our world. Richard describes “the story” as the great patterns that are always true. We pull on the threads of love that are active when engaged in “the story,” play with metaphors that examine a new way of seeing the Cosmic Egg, the relationship between chaos and order, and the Universal Christ as the key to holding Cosmic Egg together.

Learn more about the podcast.

 

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, Feb. 23

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.


God does not stop loving us every time we do something wrong, and neither should we stop loving ourselves and each other for being less than perfect.

— Harold Kushner in How Good Do We Have to Be? by Harold Kushner

The Most Important Day of Your Life

By the Rev. Mike Marsh
What are you doing with all that has happened last year and particularly last week, asks the Rev. Mike Marsh. And what is all that doing with you? In a sermon preached on the first Sunday in Lent, Marsh reflects on what it means to be in the wilderness, where we  “bump up against our limitations and face our powerlessness.”

Read the sermon.

Making God’s Unconditional Love Visible

“Whenever, contrary to the world’s vindictiveness, we love our enemy, we exhibit something of the perfect love of God,” says Henri Nouwen in You Are the Beloved. Joanna Seibert, in her “Daily Something” post for February 18, remarks that Nouwen has given her – and us –  a Lenten list of forgiving practices to consider and invite the Spirit to change in us.

Read the post.

Season of Disfiguration: Season of Hope

“Today we find ourselves in a time of disfiguration, and the message of the Gospel is that God has been here before us. God has transfigured what in us is disfigured,” says Brother James Koester of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in an Ash Wednesday post.  He reminds us that, in his act divine self-emptying, God did much more than simply take on human flesh. “God took on our limitations, our finitude, even our disfiguration, by submitting to death, disease, and loss; pain, grief, and sorrow; boredom, loneliness, and fatigue; worry, anxiety, and disquiet. God took all this on in the person of Jesus, and that is a thing full of wonder.”

Read the full post.

Taking Stock of Our Lives

“Lent is the process of emptying our cups,” says Sister Joan Chittister. “Lent is a time for trimming the soul and scraping the sludge off a life turned slipshod. Lent is about taking stock of time, even religious time. Lent is about exercising the control that enables us to say no to ourselves so that when life turns hard of its own accord, we have the spiritual stamina to say yes to its twists and turns with faith and with hope.”

Read the essay in Sister Joan’s weekly newsletter.

Prayers for the World

Join Shalem Institute’s weekly half-hour Prayer for the World sessions by phone. The intention is to hold our planet in compassion, light and love and to listen for what the Spirit is inviting in our current world situation. The time together will include a brief guided meditation, naming of areas of the planet in need, and silence.

To learn more.

Online Contemplative Photography Group

Since last August, a community of photographers at all skill levels has been gathering at SpiritualityandPractice.com to practice contemplative photography. Participants share photos in response to a weekly theme. The atmosphere is one of acceptance, encouragement, and delight in the wonders that this artistic medium opens.

Registration for the group opens at the beginning of the year and mid-year, which is now. This round of registration closes February 28.

For more information.

Wisdom for Times of Crisis

A 4-part online workshop series
From Sage-ing International
Facilitated by Ron Pevny, author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging

Wednesdays
March 31, April 7, 14, 21
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm ET

Throughout our lives we experience many transitions — passages between one social role and another, passages between stages in our development throughout the human lifespan, and passages that mark significant growth opportunities at whatever life stage we are in. Successfully moving and growing through change—as opposed to trying futilely to hold on to a past that no longer supports true aliveness—requires that certain dynamics be recognized, honored and supported. 

For details.

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, Feb 9

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.

Hope is the basis for taking responsibility; for claiming our capacity to create, to make a genuinely new thing. It is also the springboard for trying to act justly; and for accepting absolutely our incorporation into each other. It is not simply that we share with each other a common humanity, but that individually we have no humanity without each other.

— Sara Maitland in A Big Enough God by Sara Maitland

From Spirituality and Practice

Praying So as Not to Lose Heart

By Fr. Ron Ronheiser

“One of the reasons we need to pray is so that we don’t lose heart. We all do sometimes. We lose heart whenever frustration, tiredness, fear, and helplessness in the face of life’s humiliations conspire together to paralyze our energies, deaden our resiliency, drain our courage, and leave us feeling weak in depression.”
 
Read the full essay.

The Little Girl and the Parrot

A Valentine story from Joan Chittister

“It was a mystical moment. The bird and child locked in some kind of preternatural condition. Lady moved slowly and sweetly to Brigid’s fingers, and Brigid leaned over and smiled a smile as fragile as the dew. The sense of satisfied love and shy spiritual awe on her small face lit up the entire room.”

Read this sweet story.

Life In The Deserted Place

By the Rev. Mike Marsh

“When was the last time you said to yourself, ‘I really want to go to a deserted place; a barren, empty, and desolate place; a lonely place; a place without water; a place that is wild and risky; a place where anything might happen; a place where if you get lost they might not find you?’ My guess is that nobody wants to go to that place and yet we’ve all been there.” 

From a sermon preached Feb. 7, 2021 at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Uvalde TX

Read the sermon.

Open Hands and Willing Hearts

An online course from Shalem Institute
Course material available Feb. 14 to Apr 4

Recognizing and living into one’s call is a lifelong process of discernment. In this online class, Patience Robbins and Margaret Pfeil will invite you to look at your life, no matter what age, and notice your unique contribution to God’s vision. This Lent, lean into spaciousness and learn to become more receptive to the ways the spirit is guiding you with this six-session series. Listen to stories of discernment and engage in enriching experiential exercises.

For more information.

Pass on the Gratefulness – Send an e-card

From A Network for Grateful Living

Expressing care and gratitude is a vital part of grateful living practice. The Network for Grateful Living offers lovely, free e-cards for you to send to those who need some inspiration. Make someone’s day. Make a connection. Make a difference. For your sake, and for the benefit of others. 

To learn more and see the collection.

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, Feb. 2

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.

Praying

by Mary Oliver

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

From Devotions – The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver

On-demand e-courses for Lent

From Spirituality and Practice

With on-demand e-courses, you study independently and schedule the pace of the course yourself. Once you subscribe, you choose how often you want to receive the material. The Spirituality and Practice website offers courses from teachers such as Thomas Moore, Fr. Thomas Keating, Rami Shapiro and others. Ash Wednesday is February 17.

To see the selection and for more info.

Crossing the Threshold: Contemplative Foundations for Emerging Leaders

From the Shalem Institute

Crossing the Threshold is a program to nurture the spiritual life and strengthen the contemplative foundation of those who sense their grounding in God and want support/mentoring as they seek to cross the threshold to claim their call to leadership and all of life, living from this contemplative foundation.

This is a 19-month program with 2 residencies on Zoom.  Early Bird Deadline is March 1.  Program begins in April, 2021.  Scholarships are available.

A free information sessions will be offered Feb 18 at 5 pm (ET).

Learn more here.

Tending the Rituals of Our Lives: A Practice Invitation

Begins Sunday, Feb. 14
From A Network for Grateful Living

From small, daily practices to the most important moments of our lives, rituals guide our journey; bind us to one another in celebration, gratitude, and loss; and return us to ourselves when we are most in need. They become the cairns along the trail of our lives, offering direction and clarity, meaning and reassurance. Often, they hold the keys to transformation.

For more info.

A Stone’s Throw Away from Everybody

by Fr. Ron Rolheiser

“How far is a stone’s throw? It’s distance enough to leave you in a place where no one can reach you. Just as we come out of the womb alone, we leave this earth alone. Jesus faced his death knowing that he was loved by others but also knowing that in the face of death he was entering a place where he was deeply and utterly alone.”

Read the essay.

Fr. Ron is teaching at several upcoming retreats and workshops via Zoom. He is a wonderful teacher, and the events are moderately-priced. Highly recommended.

See the list here.

Words That Matter and Things That Matter

by Diana Butler Bass

“We need the counter-cultural practice of silence right now. This month, I’ve been thinking a lot about silence — and longing for it. Perhaps because of the January 6 madness, the screaming of the rioters, the QAnon lies. But partly because of the breathless, continuous outrage on social media and in the news. There’s a continual demand to take sides, speak out, prove one isn’t “complicit” with whatever structural injustice has become viral on any given day.”

Read more.

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.