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.

Pilgrims Journeying Within

Sept 8 – Oct 27

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

On Zoom

An online offering from The Wisdom Years.

To journey without being changed is to be a nomad.
To change without journeying is to be a chameleon.
To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim
.
– Mark Nepo, The Exquisite Risk

We make journeys.  We take journeys.  Sometimes journeys take us. Geographical journeys move us from one  address to another – across the city or the state or the world.

Life journeys take us from one season to another – we grow up and leave home, get married and unmarried, start a career and end a career.

Now in this last third of our lives we embark on another journey – we are pilgrims. It is the journey of coming to ourselves – stripped down, unencumbered, gently guided by God’s spirit through the blessings and burdens of this time of life.

Author Christine Valters Paintner will lead us on this pilgrimage journey through

  • hearing the call and responding
  • packing lightly
  • crossing the threshold
  • making the way by walking
  • being uncomfortable
  • beginning again
  • embracing the unknown
  • coming home

Join us as we read together The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within. We will gather online for conversation each Thursday starting September 8 at 4 p.m. (Central time) as we seek wisdom from each other and from our own souls.

You will need to buy your own book, but there is no other charge. 

If you want to join us for this study (we hope you will) or have questions, e-mail Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com.  

To learn more about The Wisdom Years, a ministry dedicated to spiritual formation in the last third of our lives, visit us at www.wisdomyears.org.

To support independent book retailers, order this book from St. Mark’s Bookstore at www.stmarksbookstore.com.  Have questions or need help? Contact Carla Pineda at stmarksbookstore@gmail.com.  

Gathered Wisdom, Aug 23

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

When we establish human connections within the context of shared experience, we create community wherever we go.

Gina Greenlee, Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road.

From Well for the Journey.

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 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/.

Lessons On My 70th Birthday

“Whenever there is an argument between two sides, find the third side,” says Kevin Kelly as he reflects on his 70th birthday. Kelly made a list of some bits of wisdom he wishes he had known when was younger. 

Read the reflection.

From Awakin. 

Start with the Voice of Grace

The little girl was considered a “difficult” child. But when the music came on she turned into a beautiful dancer. Fortunately the doctor recognized it and advised dance classes as the prescription. 

Read the essay.

From Terry Hershey’s Sabbath Moment.

Living/Dying Man

When Jamie Showkeir was diagnosed with ALS, he and his wife, Karen, decided to focus on reality. Rather than chase after miracles cures, they wisely used the time they had left and the lessons they were learning to make Jamie’s dying worth something. Their good friend Barbara McAfee was inspired to write a song about it.

Listen to the song in this video and read the conversation between Karen and Barbara.

From Daily Good.

Letting Go of Our Innocence

Richard Rohr says that we come to God not by doing it right but by doing it wrong and then forgiving ourselves. Rohr calls it “letting go,” which is not the same as denying or repressing. “We see it and we hand it over to God. We hand it over to history. . . .”

Read the reflection.

From Center for Action and Contemplation. 

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. 16

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

Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Centre, a speaking voice, to which we may continuously return. 

Thomas R. Kelley, A Testament of Devotion

Found in Well for the Journey

Finding Connection

Nature is honest, says ecotherapist and guide Grant Hine.  Nature just accepts you for who you are. Trees don’t criticize each other for being too fat or too skinny. “Every tree is perfect. And if we can see people in that way as being, that’s how they’ve grown, that’s how they are. So there’s no pressure. It’s honest.”

Watch the video from Green Renaissance or read the reflection.

Found at A Network for Grateful Living.

Facing Up to the Chaos

It’s dangerous to face the darkness alone. “Today the idea is omnipresent that we must constantly forsake what is safe and move into the unknown, with all the chaos and demons we will meet there,” says Ron Rolhesier. But we should only do that if we are sure someone or something has its arms around us and is holding us.

Read the essay.

From the blog of Ron Rolheiser.

I Have Time

Perhaps the antidote to rushing about in our lives is to stop and say, “I have time.” That simple pause and simple phrase allows us to be present to the moment rather than race to do something without giving it thought. Stopping and saying, “I have time” gives your nervous system a beak. It offers a moment of choice as to how you will proceed.

Read the essay.

From Daily Good.

Between Good & Evil: The Practice of Spiritual Discernment

The third and fourth century desert mothers and fathers gave up all their material goods to go into the desert and experience only God. But the desert was also known as the habitat of demons, so the mothers and fathers also went to slay the evil within. What was required was acute spiritual discernment between the voice of God and the voice of evil. Today we still seek that discernment. 

Read the essay by Br. David Vryhof.

From Society of St. John the Evangelist.

The Most Important Thing

By Julia Fehrenbacker

I am making a home inside myself. A shelter
of kindness where everything
is forgiven, everything allowed—a quiet patch
of sunlight to stretch out without hurry,
where all that has been banished
and buried is welcomed, spoken, listened to—released.

Read the rest of the poem.

Found at A Network for Grateful Living.

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. 9

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

Worthy

We live in a world and in an age that tells us there are people and places where Jesus shouldn’t be, mustn’t be, can’t be, and won’t possibly act. And that’s simply not true. Everyone, and I mean everyone: you, and me, and your neighbor across the street, and your neighbor across the world, is worthy of Jesus’ merciful, saving, and healing touch.

-Br. James Koester
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Read More

Knowing and Loving Our Bodies

When we ache, when we are tired, even when we have a little itch, God incarnate also experienced that.  So when we think, “I’m so weary,” we can trust that Jesus knows something about that.

Read the reflection.

From Center for Action and Contemplation.

The Opponent Relationship Is Not A Contest

Every person we meet, every experience in our environment, is a relationship. In almost every situation we adjust our own response to the relationship based on what we are “reading” in the other. It is always a learning opportunity.

Read the reflection.

From Awakin.

If That’s What Faith Is Like

“There are events, times, and seasons in each of our lives when everything we thought we knew or believed is called into question,” reflects the Rev. Mike Marsh. As rector of an Episcopal church in Uvalde, Texas, Marsh understands when the narrative of our life has been ruptured. “We no longer know what we believe about God, life, or the world. We’re not sure where to place our trust or in what to hope.” Perhaps the faith that is called for in this time is God’s faith in us.

Read the sermon.

From Interrupting the Silence.

Healing Traumas of Omission

In a deeply personal essay, Brian Morykon, Director of Communications for Renovare, writes about recognizing what needs to be healed from childhood, even if it was not what we think of as “trauma.” Even when our parents did they best they could, there may still be things that need to be healed. 

Read the essay.

From Renovare.

Fever

Why is it that we come to wisdom and maturity only after painful experiences – like the fever of a severe illness? Why do we not learn from our positive experiences? Although we have no logical answer to the question, experience teaches us it is true.

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, Aug 2

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

Prophet

To fail to understand that we are called to be prophets who speak truth to power is to fail to understand what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God.

-Br. James Koester
Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Read More.

Growing Old

What if we thought of aging as progressive enrichment, not merely diminishment, asks Milton Brasher-Cunningham in an essay pulled from nature. Reading about an overgrown pond in Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass, Brasher-Cunningham concludes that “all of us are made of mud–the sacred, soggy stardust made to grow older and richer.”

Read the reflection.

From Don’t Eat Alone.

Living at the Speed of Jesus

Katelyn Dixon left her counseling job and waited for God to show her what was next. She waited, and she waited. With tears and impatience. Then she learned that learning to wait was actually learning to live – slowly, intentionally, creatively — at the pace God created us to live.

Read the reflection.

From Renovare.

Faith, Doubt, Dark Nights, and Maturity

When we feel bereft of God, maybe we are moving forward, not backward.  Maybe we are moving into a new stage of a mature faith. While that darkness can be confusing, says Fr. Ron Rolheiser, it can also be maturing: It can help move us from being arrogant, judgmental, religious neophytes to being humble, empathic men and women.

Read the reflection.

From the blog of Ron Rolheiser. 

Remain in Relationship

In a reflection on Jesus’ sermon about the vine and the branches, Richard Rohr reminds us that being connected – with God and with each other – is more important than being correct.

Listen to the podcast.

From Center for Action and Contemplation.

A Blessing for Learning to Delight Again

Blessed are you, the pragmatic,
You who have run the math and know what adds up—and what doesn’t.
You who have set it all down.
You who don’t hope or dream or plan anymore,
…because what’s the point?

Read the rest of the poem.

From Kate Bowler’s Summer Blessings series.

 

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, July 26

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

The Sign We Are Given

Sometimes, the most important sign is the one in the rearview mirror that pointed us in the right direction and all we need to do is stay the course until and for as long as it takes the next direction to appear.

– Brother Todd Blackham

Society of St John the Evangelist

Read the full reflection.

From Broken to Beloved

Terry Wardle of Healing Care Ministries shares how an emotional breakdown at the height of his ​“success” in ministry played a pivotal role in moving him from information about God to encounter with God, from performance-oriented to grace-oriented, and from broken to beloved.

Listen to the podcast. (About 30 min)

From Renovare.

The Unworried Well

None of us who are relatively well can imagine what it is like to have a chronic illness. The pain of even those we love the very most . . . loses its “originality” for us. “Their suffering is an idea in our minds, not an endless punch in our guts,” says Courtney Martin, quoting from Alphonse Daudet’s, In the Land of Pain.

Read the reflection.

From The Examined Family.

Human World of Helping

When we try to distance ourselves from the pain of the world, says Terry Hershey, we miss the good stuff too.  “Even in cacophony, we are still connected to one another. We still make a difference. A human world of helping. No one of us is on this journey alone.”

Read the reflection.

From Sabbath Moments by Terry Hershey.

Ignatian Discernment

When he has to make an important decision, priest and writer Lowell Grisham turns to Ignatian discernment – a method of living with each choice for a day and considering the after-effects of each. Does the choice leave you feeling peaceful or with a sense of turbulence?

Read the reflection.

From Joanna Seibert’s Daily Something.

Obstacles to Prayer

Why do we find it hard to pray? We have so much else that tugs at us all day, every day, and, frankly, praying is hard. “Because prayer can seem unreal we often stop doing it,” says Fr. RonRolheiser.  “But it will only seem real if we persevere in it long enough and do it deeply enough. We often give up too soon. Prayer isn’t easy.”

Read the reflection.

From the blog of 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.