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A Celebration of Poetry ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims,

I hope you have enjoyed the series of poetry videos we have produced in collaboration with Morgan Creative. One of our great joys here at the Abbey is bringing artists together whether through these videos, the albums we are creating, or the icon series we commissioned. When time and resources allow we hope to continue these video offerings. For now, I thought I’d share links to all eight of the poems in case you have missed any of them over the last few months:

How to Be a Pilgrim

Requiem for Myself

Take My Hand


St. Gobnait and the Place of Her Resurrection

Connemara Illuminated

St. Teresa’s Ecstasy

Dreaming of Stones and poetry book trailer

Your can order your own copy of Dreaming of Stones.

One of the things that calls to me most strongly for our Jubilee year ahead is to have the time and space to write more poems. I am close to enough for a second collection on the theme of the wisdom of wild grace. These include a series of poems about the stories of saints and animals which I have been meditating on. You can read one of the poems in this series, St Melangell and the Hare, at Bearings online.

Poems for me always begin with the seeds of images in my journal. My favorite time to write is first thing in the morning, after I have fed Sourney and taken her out, I love to climb back in bed with her and a cup of tea or coffee. I often sit in silence for a while and then read a poem or two from another writer and practice a modified version of lectio divina with these texts, listening for a word or phrase that shimmers for me. I let that unfold in my imagination and the images that arise often form the seed of a poem I will write. It is very much a contemplative practice that for me requires a commitment to time and space. Writing poetry is very much an act of cultivating wonder for myself and hopefully for my reader as well. It is about seeing the world beneath the surface of things and offering it back through language.

How does poetry (whether reading or writing) inspire your own life and spiritual practice?

I have a few bonus things for you to read and listen to this week – two articles I have had published recently with U.S. Catholic magazine and a podcast at Spark My Muse:

8 Faces of Mary to Call On in Prayer

12 Celtic Spiritual Practice that Celebrate God in Our World

Celtic Practices and Poetry (Podcast)

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Photo © Christine Valters Paintner

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