Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

What is Blossoming Within You? (continued) ~ A Love Note from your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists,

The fertility of spring speaks of an abundantly creative God who is at the source of the potent life force beating at the heart of the world.  Created in God’s image, we are called to participate in this generous creativity ourselves.  Our own blossoming leads us to share our gifts with the world.

There is a playfulness and spontaneity to the season of spring, that invites us to join this joyful abandon.  We are called to both listen deeply to the blossoming within ourselves as well as to forget ourselves — setting aside all of our seriousness about what we are called to do and simply enter the space of being.  In this field of possibility we discover new gifts.

In the Hebrew Scriptures the promise of God’s abundance is often conceived of as blossoming in the desert. In that harsh landscape, a blossom bursting forth from the dry land is a symbol of divine generosity and fruitfulness.

Hope is never a denial of our pain and suffering. In hope we honor the whole spectrum of our human experience, the tension of blessing and curse. Hope is a stance of radical openness to the God of newness and possibility. When we hope, we name a God who has an imagination far more expansive than we do. It is in this wide landscape of possibility that hope is born.

Spring is the season when we are invited to celebrate the abundance of life. In this season of budding and blooming we are also called to notice our own places of abundance and scarcity as well as the places of fearfulness and hopefulness.

What are the elements of your life that feel most alive and vital?  How are you called to nurture these more deeply?

What are the elements of your life that feel most life-draining, scarce, and fearful?  How are you being called to hold these places lightly, offering them back to a God of abundance?

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Photo © Christine Valters Paintner

You might also enjoy

Monk in the World Guest Post: Janeen R. Adil

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series. Read on for Janeen Adil’s reflection and poem about liminality. Thresholds and doorways make for evocative images; as a monk in the world, I am drawn to a

Read More »

Preparing for Advent + Prayer Cycle Day 7

Dear monks, artists, and pilgrims,  Today we share the final two audio podcasts of our 7-day prayer cycle on the theme of The Love of Thousands. The theme for morning is on ancestral earth and deep time, honoring that our ancestors are not just our human

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Susan Blagden

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Susan Blagden’s contemplative photographs and poems inspired by the work of Thomas Merton. As a contemplative photographer, coach and priest, I seek

Read More »