Life has been full here at the Abbey this summer. I am very hard at work this week getting ready to teach an intensive class on Contemporary Expressions of Monastic Spirituality for the School of Theology andMinistry next week. I am so delighted to immerse myself in the coming days in discussion and exploration of the Benedictine life for contemporary times. The intensive nature of the class means everything needs to be ready ahead of time but also means that we will get to experience the rhythms of monastic life and prayer as a part of our learning.
I am also hard at work at finishing a draft of the book I am co-writing with Betsey Beckman, Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Expressive Arts to Spiritual Direction which will be published by Morehouse next spring in time for the Spiritual Directors International Conference in April 2010 where Betsey and I will be presenting a workshop!
My other book – Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Spiritual Practice of Praying with the Elements is in the editing stage right now and will be released by Ave Maria Press in March 2010. I am so excited about this one as well.
So lots of richness in my life right now. I have time off this summer from my work at the Ignatian Spirituality Center and so I am cherishing the time and space to engage deeply in this work, to be fully present to what I am doing. Long hours spent writing and reflecting with Abbess Petunia by my side and my sweet husband to take breaks with is pretty wonderful.
In the meantime, stop by Living in Season, the new online magazine from my friend Waverly Fitzgerald. Waverly does some lovely work on encouraging us to live slowly, with more intention, and in harmony with the seasons. She has one of my photos here and lots of wonderful reflections to linger with.
My other discovery in the last few days is this site – Creating Quiet Spaces – an online store offering items for your altar or personal sanctuary space all hand-crafted by artisans. She has the stories of each artist and a wonderful array of beautiful objects. I think I will be treating myself to a little foray there when I get these two projects completed.
So that is all for now dear readers. The photo above was taken during our travels last summer. Let it bless you with summer's sweet slowness.
Come back Monday for our next Poetry Party!
© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts