Reflections

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Lift Every Voice Book Club

Lift Every Voice: Contemplative Writers of Color – April Video Discussion and Book Group Materials Now Available

Join Abbey of the Arts for a monthly conversation on how increasing our diversity of perspectives on contemplative practice can enrich our understanding and experience of the Christian mystical tradition.  Christine Valters Paintner is joined by author Claudia Love Mair for a series of video conversations. Each month they take up a new book by or about a voice of color. The community is invited to purchase and read the books in advance and participate actively in this journey of deepening, discovery, and transformation.  Click here to view this month’s video discussion along with questions for reflection. In The Seeker and the Monk, Sophfronia

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Post-Surgery Health Update from Christine

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, First enormous gratitude for your generous love, care, and prayers for me. I have absolutely felt surrounded by them along with the angels, saints, and ancestors, Mary as Life Giving Spring, and the Divine Healer infusing me with greening life energy. I checked into the hospital Tuesday and had my transadominal hysterectomy first thing Wednesday. My doctor was so kind to come hold my hand as I went under. According to her all went very well. Yesterday I felt pretty awful but to be expected after anesthesia and a major surgery. The nurses and assistants

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Kathy Roy

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Kathy Roy’s submission “Gentle Spirits.” Stepping out my front door for an early morning walk has become a spiritual practice over the years.  This morning, the sky is a deep inky blue and as I step out of my house, my eyes are drawn to the brilliant glow of the moon shining through the branches of pine trees.  Dawn has not yet broken the dark of the night and the moon has a circle of light radiating

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Monk Manifesto + Updated Artwork ~ A Love Note From Your Online Abbess

Dearest monk, artists, and pilgrims, I want to share a brand new video for our Monk Manifesto principles! We originally had our wonderful companion illustrations created about twelve years ago. They were delightful but in recent times, with our own growing awareness, we have realized they could be even more inclusive of a diversity of people than they were. Abbey of the Arts is committed to its own ongoing growth and transformation! See principle #7 of conversion which is all about being on a lifelong journey of discovery.   So we were delighted to find illustrator Quynh Nguyen and loved her playful, colorful style (she

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Karen Harris

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Karen Harris’ reflection, “Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down.” What I have discovered at this spiritually scholastic portal is that the profundity of life is equal to the level of “play” in which you are willing, and led, to engage.  This can only be accomplished when you find and then put yourself in the hands of accomplished and genuine people you have learned to trust and love.  Having found these people- I wished to send a thank you email

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Abbess love notes

Health Update ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I have mentioned a couple of times that I have surgery upcoming. Last summer I was diagnosed with a very large fibroid which has been causing ongoing discomfort and pain. I spent several months trying to determine the right treatment and get it scheduled. For many reasons including the underfunded Irish public health service, the impact of the pandemic on it, and the bureaucracy that governs our private health insurance and options in Ireland, we eventually decided the best choice would be for me to travel to Vienna, Austria for a transabdominal hysterectomy (which will be covered

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Monk in the World Guest Post Series

Monk in the World Guest Post: Kreg Yingst

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Our reflection this week comes from Kreg Yingst whose block prints of Mary are featured in Christine’s forthcoming book Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary for Creativity and Renewal. Read on for Kreg’s reflection “The Creative Act as Spiritual Praxis*” “Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.” – Abba Moses Some of the most magnificent works in art history have been the beautifully illuminated Psalters of the Middle Ages. These prayerbooks were for kings, queens,

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Abbess love notes

Celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick with Us! ~ A Love Note From Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, This Thursday is the Feast of St. Patrick. After two years without St. Patrick’s Day parades in Ireland, they are returning this year to great celebration.  We are so delighted to be welcoming Irish poet and musician Mícheál ‘Moley’ Ó Súilleabháin who will be offering a free online event for our community to celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick through poetry, storytelling, and song. He is the author of Early Music. This excerpt about St. Patrick is from my book The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred.  The Call of St. Patrick  Patrick is the patron saint of

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“Breath Prayer” Honored by Spirituality & Practice

Christine’s most recent book, Breath Prayer: An Ancient Practice for the Everyday Sacred was named one of the best spiritual books of 2021 by Spirituality & Practice! Christine joins an impressive list of contemplative writers including Carl McColman, Cynthia Bourgeault, John Philip Newel, and poet Amanda Gorman. Click here to see the full list and read the review.

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Monk in the World Guest Post Series

Monk in the World Guest Post: Marianne Patrevito

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Marianne Patrevito’s reflection “Being Present to the Process.”  In the first light of an early spring morning, I stood looking out of my kitchen window.  Resting my eyes on the creek bordering our yard, I see glimpses of geese floating in the still, cold water. Inhaling the quiet peaceful time of a few mindful moments, I pause. Reflecting, I am infused with the grace of dawn breaking as I listen for the sounds and sights coming to life in

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