Gathered Wisdom, Nov 29

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

Advent 2022:
“Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3).


Advent is a season of hope and expectation. A time set aside to proclaim once again that our God is still with us, still ready to lead us to peace and reconciliation, if we are willing.

Our Advent gift to you is a daily text message of inspiration and encouragement. If you would like to receive this daily text on your cell phone, send your name and cell phone number to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com.


Venting the Light

“All your life you’ve been getting ready for now. The light is probably dawning on you – what God is calling you to be and do – and you could easily feel overwhelmed. But God is the source of the light, and God is behind the dawning. You will have the inner light you need on the path ahead. There will be provision. Go ahead.”

Read the powerful reflection from Br. Curtis Almquist.

From Society of St. John the Evangelist.

School of Gratitude

The Beatitudes ask us to believe that even in – perhaps especially in – suffering we will be blessed (Matthew 5:3–12). We tend to read them as warm and fuzzy words but don’t much take them seriously.  But Brian McLaren says they are “the deepest lesson of gratitude.”

Read the reflection.

From Center for Action and Contemplation.

Reading the Signs of the Times

What did Jesus mean when he accused his listeners of not being able to read the “signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3)? Fr. Ron Rolheiser says that reading the  signs of the times means being able to name things properly.

Read the reflection.

From the blog of Fr. Ron Rolheiser.

Varied Paths for Varied Hearts

Everyone’s path to God is not the same.  Some will search for years; others will stumble over it and immediately recognize it.  No matter, says Br. Sean Glenn of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. People of faith all end up in the same place.

Read 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 15

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

The Thanksgiving Address (the Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen) is the central prayer and invocation for the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations — Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora). It reflects their relationship of giving thanks for life and the world around them.

“You can’t listen to the Thanksgiving Address without feeling wealthy,” says Robin Wall Kimmerer. “And, while expressing gratitude seems innocent enough, it is a revolutionary idea. In a consumer society, contentment is a radical proposition . . . . The Thanksgiving Address reminds you that you already have everything you need.”

Read this beautifully illustrated Thanksgiving Address.

Found at Grateful Living.

The WY Thanksgiving Celebration

Thursday, Nov. 17, 4 p.m. on Zoom

Join us for a litany of thanks and a time of prayer and community.

For the Zoom link, email Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com.  before 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Adverbs for Advent

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 your interest on our Wisdom Years website page.

Why You Should Write That Thank You Note

Your mother was right: you should write thank you notes. Researchers have found that writing as few as three weekly thank you notes over the course of three weeks improves life satisfaction, increases happy feelings and reduces symptoms of depression. And read Robinson Crusoe again for a model of gratitude in the face of what could have been despair.

Read the essay.

Found in Daily Good.

Small Kindnesses

What if it’s the small everyday kindness we express and receive that is the true dwelling of the holy. Danusha Laméris calls such kindness “fleeting temples” that we make together.

Read the reflection.

From Awakin.

Living with Limitations

The CDC reports that 61 million adults have a disability that has a major impact on their lives.  Joanna Seibert believes there is possibility of a “new pathway” in limitations that can open a new direction in becoming the person God created us to be.

Read the reflection.

From Joanna Seibert.

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 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.

Adverbs for Advent

A Wisdom Years Advent study

November 27 to December 15

Gathering for conversation by Zoom
on Thursday, December 1, 8, and 15

4 p.m. (Central time)

How will we live Advent this year? How can we be intentional about answering the call of Advent to wait with expectation that our God is sending the Holy One to live among us as one of us? In Adverbs for Advent, author Marilyn McEntyre offers daily Advent meditations that can shape our lives, preparing us to be holy vessels for the coming Christ so that we too can declare a message of love and peace to our hurting world.

The adverbs we encounter in this devotional challenge us to live as Jesus did – patiently, harmoniously, joyously, boldly, and simply. In this Wisdom Years study, participants will read the meditations on their own, then gather on three Thursdays by Zoom – December 1, 8, and 15 for conversation and community.

Each week will end with a brief time of prayer and reflection. Participants should bring candles.

Participants can also opt to receive a daily thought or inspiration by text throughout Advent.

There is no cost for study. Participants will buy their own book.

To indicate your interest in the study or if you have questions, send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegorge62@gmail.com.

To support independent book sellers, order from St. Mark’s Bookstore at https://www.stmarksbookstore.com

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.

Toward Incarnation

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

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

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

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

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

The study includes weekly readings and daily text reflections.

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

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

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

There is no cost and no book will be required. 

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

Toward Incarnation

An Advent exploration

Dec 2, 9, 16, and Dec. 23 (optional)

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

By Zoom. 

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

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

We will gather weekly for discussion and small-group conversation.

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

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

There is no cost and no book will be required. 

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