Summer Sabbatical (we return on August 5th) ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks and artists,

Every summer we try to step back from this wonderful work and take a bit of time off for planning, dreaming, and resting. Sabbath is one of the profound gifts of a generous and abundant divine presence who says that work is good and rest is necessary.

We are so grateful for all the ways this community supports our work in the world and we are eager to listen more deeply in the coming weeks to what new things want to be birthed through the Abbey in the coming year.

We will be taking a break from our weekly love notes and daily quotes and questions starting tomorrow and will return on Sunday, August 5th with more Abbey goodness. You are still welcome to email us (or register for programs) we might just be a bit slower to respond than usual.

I leave you with this poem I wrote about the gift of Sabbath:

Sabbath

Even as the subway car hurtles
into the tunnel and calendars heave
under growing weight of entries,
even under the familiar lament
for more hours to do

a bell rings somewhere
and a man lays down
his hammer, as if to say
the world can build without me,
a woman sets down
her pen as if to say,
the world will carry on
without my words.

The project left undone,
dust on the shelves,
dishes crusted with morning
egg, the vase of drooping
flowers, and so much work
still to complete,

I journey across the long field
where trees cling to the edges
free to not do anything but
stand their ground,
where buttercups
and bluebells sway

and in this taste of paradise
where rest becomes luminous
and play a prayer of gratitude,
even the stones sing
of a different time,
where burden is lifted
and eternity endures.

(first published in ARTS journal of religion and the arts)

May the gift of Sabbath rest be yours in the days ahead.

With great and growing love,

Christine

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Photo © Christine Valters Paintner

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