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Where Love Lives Poem + Day 5 Mary Prayer Cycle 

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims,

We have two treats for you today! 

The first is the video podcasts from Day 5 of our Birthing the Holy Prayer Cycle

Last Spring we created a prayer cycle and audio podcast series to accompany my book Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal. Today we continue our release of the companion video podcasts for the Birthing the Holy Prayer Cycle with Day 5 Morning and Evening Prayer. 

Day 5 morning and evening prayer explores Mother of Sorrows and Greenest Branch. Through her own experience with deep grief and loss Mary, Mother of Sorrows tends the threshold of our of lives, knowing both the profound joy and grief that life can bring and encourages us to cultivate compassion for ourselves and all the ways we have been wounded. Mary, Greenest Branch reminds us of the interconnectedness and intercommunion of all levels of created life with each other and with God as Source. 

Our other treat is a final poetry video from my third and newest poetry collection from Paraclete Press titled Love Holds You: Poems and Devotions for Times of Uncertainty. There were some delays in the shipping process for this book but all seems resolved now so it should be available at the usual booksellers. I so appreciate your support for this work! 

This poem reflects a similar paradox explored in Day 5 of our prayer cycle above – holding the tension between lightness and density, between the experience of reaching and stretching, and the need for grounding and rooting down. To be human means to rest in the paradox of grief and joy. As beings who are flesh infused with spirit we hold this tension in our bodies and souls.

Read the poem below slowly and then watch the poem video at this link. See if the images spark anything further for you or if the images distract you, close your eyes and listen to me reading it to you.

*

Where Love Lives
 
The sun is a shy lemon
peeking from behind a curtain
before disappearing.
 
All I want to do is lift away,
live in that weightless place
where gravity has no claim on me,
where lightness is my name.
 
All I want to do is bend back down
into dust and mud, savor how stones
absorb sunlight and become radiant,
until heaviness is my name.
 
I see that I am always both:
I am stone, weight, gravity.
I am angel, feathered, floating.
Love lives in the wonder
of the in-between, the longing
for all possible worlds,
the way sunlight explodes
its lemon tartness in my mouth,
the way sunlight lingers
at the heart of every stone.
 
*

Spend a few moments in reflection. You might ponder these questions:

What are the moments of life that stir you to a longing to fly away, feel lightness?

What are the moments that prompt you to desire the density of things, to know the world as solid?

Have you found the gateway into the world of divine longing where weight and weightlessness merge in the interior landscape of your soul?

If you want to deepen the meditation, take this into a breath prayer practice:

Breathe in: I am feather

Breathe out: I am stone

You might close your reflection time with an affirmation:

I am both weightless and heaviness, both feather and stone. I hold contradictions within myself.

A wonderful and free way to support this work is to leave a review of Love Holds You at any of the major online booksellers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. Thank you for helping to spread the word about poetry! 

Join Simon tomorrow for Taize-inspired sacred chant. This will be our last online prayer service until the fall. 

With great and growing love,

Christine

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

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