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

St. Teresa’s Ecstasy (new poem video) ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims,

To continue celebrating the upcoming release of my poetry collection Dreaming of Stones, I have another poem video for you this week. This poem, titled St. Teresa’s Ecstasy, was inspired by the statue created by Bernini which depicts a moment she describes in her autobiography of mystical communion.  The poem video also takes its inspiration from this statue.

St. Teresa’s Ecstasy

You must have felt it
once or twice yourself
an early winter morning
as the sun tilts slowly
above the vale of earth

bird wings flap fiercely
slicing the sky as it turns
from lavender to blue
your heart a moth
fluttering in a jar

and for a moment you are
so in love with this world
everything is possible
your skin no longer barrier
but portal to communion

like St. Teresa in her moment
of ecstasy, Seraphim with a
golden spear clearing her out
for love, feet bare, head tilted back,
a moan escapes her lips,

rhapsody, relish, swoon
even when the angel recedes
as her tasks call her back
she can still taste bliss in her
pomegranate mouth

and there are glimpses of paradise
even on rain-soaked days
a sun still gleams
among the half-cut lemons,
the egg yolk, my wedding band.

—Christine Valters Paintner

If you love poetry and want to see it thrive, I would be so grateful if you would consider pre-ordering a copy of Dreaming of Stones and sharing these poem videos with others.  The book will be available in the U.S. March 19th. (Also see below for an opportunity to join me in Seattle for an evening of Celtic song, poetry, and dance on March 17th as well as a Sacred Poetry retreat in Chartres, France this coming June 10-14, 2019!)

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Video © Christine Valters Paintner

You might also enjoy

Sustainers Circle, Abundance, and Gratitude

Gratitude Blessing Spirit of Generosity, we come to you with hearts overflowing with gratitude for your abundant creation. As we awaken each morning, help us to remember this day is a gift, this breath is grace, this life a wonder. Remind us with every flower

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Andrew Lang

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to our Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Andrew Lang’s reflection Opening our Posture to the Sacrament of the Present Moment. I sat atop the rocky Washington beach, watching the

Read More »