Our Easter Season E-Course is underway and it is a joy to guide others through the practice of praying with water, wind, earth, and fire as vessels for awareness of the ways God moves through the world.
This first week's focus is on wind.
Click the links below for some blog posts written by participants:
Laurel at The Rose Window shares her thoughtful reflections as she begins this time of retreat.
David Crumm at Read the Spirit shares these words on my new book:
As a journalist, I see thousands of new books on religion and spirituality flowing from publishers every year and a huge portion of those books relate to prayer, which is the most widespread religious expression in the world. Prayer is a practice, or rather a wide array of practices, extending to us from the roots of human civilization thousands of years ago.
Often, we forget the richness of our own traditions, even the specific Christian tradition that most Americans share. Often, helpful guides can emerge to reconnect us with themes and creative ideas that can wake up our prayer life–and can connect us with parts of the world we often overlook. Right now, millions of Americans are waking up to their deep connection with the natural world. For a long time, American evangelical movements were so focused on the "next" world that this one was almost an afterthought.
Where does our faith connect with "Creation care"? That's a two-word phrase now popular among religious environmental activists. For thousands of years, this wasn't even a question. Religion and environment always intertwined. Remember that the roots of our spiritual traditions lie in ancient lands where life depended on the weather, the fertility of fields–and the overall balance of non-human life on Earth. In the past 500 years, in particular, the Western Christian world seems to have lost track of this connection.
That's why this book is so fresh and so important. Just like me, you can find hundreds of books on prayer. Why choose this slim paperback volume? Because, in 150 pages, Christine Valters Paintner helps to reconnect Christians with our own centuries-old traditions of praying with "the elements"–the connective tissue between our faith and true Creation care.
You can order your own copy of Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements
© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts