Gathered Wisdom, Sept 21

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

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let dead things go.
– Author unknown

This week:

  • Today is World Gratitude Day
  • Dance With Life
  • How to Age Gracefully
  • Commandments for the Long Haul
  • “Death Doulas” Provide Aid at the End of Life

Today is World Gratitude Day

Diana Butler Bass reflects on how the practice of gratitude got her through the past 18 months. She writes, “Gratitude is resilience of sorts, the defiance of kindness in the face of anger, of connection in the face of division, and of hope in the face of fear. “ 

Read the reflection.

From The Cottage.

Dance with Life

“If we can just take the intelligence we have and temper it with wisdom . . .” In this lovely video from Green Renaissance, Sue Swain dances with trees and reminds us that “we have been blessed with an incredible planetary home.” 

Watch the video.

From A Network for Grateful Living.

How to Age Gracefully

Writing in the New York Times, author Jane Brody makes some decisions about aging. She has stopped dying her gray hair and using makeup. “Wrinkles be damned. I’m proud to have them.”

Read the article.

The New York Times.

Commandments for the Long Haul

Fr. Ron Rolheiser of Oblate Seminary in San Antonio, Texas, offers some practices for living long lives of faithfulness: “Give yourself permission to be inadequate.” “Be sufficiently loving and critical at the same time.”

Read the rest of them.

From the blog of Ron Rolheiser.

“Death Doulas” Provide Aid at the End of Life

While we spend a lot of time preparing for a birth, as a society we shy away from discussing death or preparing for it emotionally and spiritually. Hence the rising interest in end-of-life or “death”doulas who become companions to the dying, sitting with them, listening to them, helping them write their life stories and plan their own end-of-life memorials. 

Read more about “end-of-life” doulas.

Found in Daily Good.

Gathered Wisdom is an offering of The Wisdom Years, a ministry devoted to the spiritual journey of the last third of our lives.

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Gathered Wisdom, Sept 14

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

We seek perfection in our days, always wanting more for ourselves and our lives, and striving for goals unattainable . . .
Where does it come from, this strange unquenchable human urge for “more”? . . .
Learn to value the small as well as the great.

-Kent Nerburn, Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life

Found in Well for the Journey Daily Faith Reflections, September 8, 2021

This week:

  • Encountering God in Everyday Life
  • When You’re Afraid to Get in the Boat Who Soothes You?
  • How Small Moments of Empathy Affect Your Life
  • Participating in Original Goodness
  • Fire

Encountering God in Our Everyday Life

Many of the spiritual disciplines are like taking out the trash, says Joanna Seibert. The disciplines “are simply to clear our minds so we can hear God speak to our lives.” 

Read the rest of the reflection.

Found in  Joanna Seibert’s Daily Something.

When you’re afraid to get into the boat who soothes your fear?

“ I DON’T WANT TO GO” screamed the little boy who really didn’t want to get into the boat. The boy’s dad was beyond coping, but Grandpa could step in calmly with a fresh voice and fresh love. Everybody needs a grandpa.

Read or listen to the reflection from Heather Plett

More about Heather Plett.

How Small Moments of Empathy Affect your Life

On average, a person receives about nine opportunities to empathize with others and about six opportunities to receive empathy in a 12-hour period of daily life. Studies show that people who are empathetic are more likely to be generous and altruistic and less likely to be prejudiced against others. So what does that mean for our everyday lives?

Read the article by Jill Suttie.

Found in Daily Good.

Participating in Original Goodness

Everyone and every thing is created in the “image of God,” says Fr. Richard Rohr. Our part is to participate in this core identity by saying yes to it. Image must become likeness.

Read the full reflection.

Found in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation from Center for Action and Contemplation.

Fire

A poem from Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.

Read or listen to the entire poem.

Found in Awakin. 

Gathered Wisdom is an offering of The Wisdom Years, a ministry devoted to the spiritual journey of the last third of our lives.

If this post was forwarded to you, sign up to receive Gathered Wisdom in your email by subscribing at wisdomyears.org.

To learn more visit our website.

Our Fall Book Discussion Starts Sept. 9

Time to order your book and reserve your space.

September 9 through October 28, 2021
Thursdays, 4 to 5:15 p.m. (Central time)

“In a world of speed and distraction, pace of guidance invites us to combine the practices of measured movement and listening.” – Christina Baldwin, from The Seven Whispers

In The Seven Whispers, our fall discussion book, author Christina Baldwin invites us to clear away the clutter and seek the inner voice of wisdom from our own souls. Through seven phrases or whispers, we will find that it is our souls that connect with the Spirit and can teach us much.

Baldwin is a pioneer in the circle method of learning, through which participants claim their own discoveries and insights, a model The Wisdom Years follows.

Discussion sessions will meet by Zoom on Thursdays at 4 p.m (Central time) for 8 weeks. Participants will need to buy The Seven Whispers by Christina Baldwin. To purchase from St. Mark’s Bookstore, an independent bookstore affiliated with Episcopal Booksellers Association, visit St. Mark’s Bookstore or contact Carla Pineda.

To save your space in the book discussion, or for more information, send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com. There is no charge for the study. If you need financial assistance to purchase a book, do not hesitate to contact us. There is scholarship money available.

For more details about this book discussion, see this page.

Gathered Wisdom, Aug 24, 2021

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

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

-Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom

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

This Week:

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

Is There More Kindness or Evil in Our World?

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

Read the meditation.

More from Joanna Seibert.

Letting there be Room for All of This

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

Read the essay.

More from Courtney Martin.

My 94-Year-Old Dad Talks About COVID 19

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

Read the article.

More Daily Good

My Enemy is Now My Friend

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

Read it.

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

On the Edge

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

By Diana Butler Bass. 

Read it.

More from The Cottage by Diana Butler Bass

Gathered Wisdom is from The Wisdom Years, a ministry that invites older adults to deepening spirituality in the last third of their lives. If someone forwarded this to you, learn more about The Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at ww.wisdomyears.org. Or send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com

Our Fall Book Discussion – The Seven Whispers

September 9 through October 28, 2021

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

Most of us thought we would be done with Covid by now, and yet we find the virus surging and strong reactions continuing to tear apart our communities. Discussing how we foster peace of mind through these disheartening times may be the welcome respite we need.

In The Seven Whispers, author Christina Baldwin invites us to clear away the clutter and seek the inner voice of wisdom from our own souls. Through seven phrases or whispers, we will find that it is our souls that connect with the Spirit and can teach us much.

Baldwin is a pioneer in the circle method of learning, through which participants claim their own discoveries and insights, a model The Wisdom Years follows.

Discussion sessions will meet by Zoom on Thursdays at 4 p.m (Central time) for 8 weeks. Participants will need to buy The Seven Whispers by Christina Baldwin. To purchase from St. Mark’s Bookstore, an independent bookstore affiliated with Episcopal Booksellers Association, visit St. Mark’s Bookstore or contact Carla Pineda.

To save your space in the book discussion, or for more information send an email to Marjorie George at marjoriegeorge62@gmail.com. There is no charge for the study.

For more details about this book discussion, see this page.

Gathered Wisdom

August 17, 2021

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

.

“Wisdom is radiant and unfading,

and she is easily discerned by those who love her,

and is found by those who seek her.

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

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

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

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

This Week:

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

Six Pillars of the Wholehearted Life

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

Watch the address or read the transcript.

More about Daily Good.

A Christian Attitude Toward the World

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

Read the essay.

From Fr. Ron’s blog.

Crisis Contemplation

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

Read the meditation.

More about the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Removing the Log from our Eye

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

Read the essay.

More about Society of St. John the Evangelist.

Gathered Wisdom is an offering of The Wisdom Years, a ministry devoted to the spiritual journey of the last third of our lives. Sign up to receive Gathered Wisdom in your email inbox or to learn more about us at The Wisdom Years. Or send an email to Marjorie George.