Christine was recently interviewed by the National Catholic Reporter about her book The Love of Thousands and building bridges beyond the veil. Here is an excerpt:
NCR: In your introduction you mention that this book began as an exploration of your relationship to your ancestors. How did that circle widen for you to include the angels and the saints?
Paintner: I’ve had a long devotion and relationship to various saints — Hildegard of Bingen being the prime one, and also Benedict because I’m a Benedictine oblate. But when I was working with the ancestors, I suddenly realized that some of them can be wounded, but many of them are what we would call wise and well. I realized that the only difference between the saints and the wise and well ancestors is a matter of church teaching, in terms of who is an official saint and who is not. It helps me to feel a connection to my spiritual ancestors.
When I was working with the ancestors and the saints and thinking about how we connect across the veil to these beings who only want to reach out to us in love, I realized I had to include the angels as well. There’s a cemetery in Vienna where my father and my grandparents are buried, and I love to walk there. There are lots of big stone angels there that feel like they have the density to meet me in my struggles.