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Practicing Resurrection through the Wisdom of Our Wounds ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Easter Blessing*

God of rising, 
you bring new life 
to all the places death inhabits. 
Bless our own dying dreams
with your greening breath,
make our dry bones dance,
inspire us to sing, 
revive our bodies 
so we might become 
more vibrant, hopeful witnesses
to the life’s persistence. 
We call on Christ’s wisdom 
to bless and sustain us 
in the practice of resurrection, 
of honoring our bodies
and being agents of generous abundance. 
May all the nets we draw up 
from the water be overflowing with fish, 
may our wounds still visible 
be a sign of healing grace, 
and may we encounter your presence 
when we sit at table with strangers.
Let our lives be a celebration 
of all the ways your love thrives
where once there was only doubt,
like the first riot of daffodils in spring. 

Dearest monks and artists,

Blessings of the Easter season dear friends. I invite you to consider how you might practice resurrection in these next 50 days. 

I am pondering what it means to practice resurrection in a body that is chronically ill. When Jesus is resurrected his body is still wounded. The holes in his hands are still visible, Thomas is able to put his hand into Jesus’ side. 

This is a staggering revelation. The resurrected body is not about perfection. 

I was having a conversation the other day with Claudia Love Mair and Liuan Huska about Liuan’s beautiful book Hurting Yet Whole (it will be featured for our book club in June and you can listen then, in the meantime I encourage you to buy her book).

Liuan writes: “Being fully human is to inhabit the wild mysteries of our bodies and trust that, because Christ was a body, and still is a body, we don’t need to fear this place. We can say, it is good, because Christ meets us here.” 

This is so beautiful. I love the truth that Jesus experienced the sometimes excruciating pain of this human form and his resurrected body still had its wounds, pointing the way toward something wondrous about them in the resurrected life.

Liuan said in our conversation that our wounds have stories and the three of us began to share about our scars and stretch marks, and some of the invisible wounds we carry. We honored the stories those wounds hold. 

Jesus’ wounds tell the story of his brutal murder at the hands of Empire. But they also say this isn’t the last word.

Our wisdom traditions teach us that pain — whether emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual — can be a doorway. It can be a portal into discovering and inhabiting a much deeper and more aligned way of being in the world. It is a threshold where our wounds become our guides into a profound compassion and embrace of vulnerability.

Many of you live with different kinds of pain. It is not always possible to see the doorway in the midst of the suffering. Sometimes pain annihilates our sense of self. Sometimes we have to sit in the messiness of life and ask for support, a steady hand to companion us until something shifts. If you are in this place, I witness you and hold you in great love and prayer. 

There is much that those of us with chronic illness have to teach the world about bodily vulnerability and the pace of life that is crushing many of us. I am profoundly grateful for coming into the contemplative life when I did and finding a way that treasures me for being, not for my doing.

My wounds have become doorways into wisdom. 

Navigating the medical system can be relentless, exhausting, and completely dispiriting. My weeks are often full of various appointments which demand the little energy I have and often promising new consultants bring little new insight or help. So, I hold profound gratitude each day for my core “team” of health care practitioners who feel like true healers. By this I mean those who are able to be present and listen to my story, and not offer promises of cure, but do give various balms of loving presence while offering their skills in service. Each morning, I pray with their names, offering my thanks for finding such lovely, kind, and generous human beings with hearts for healing, and I ask blessing on their energy and work with others. My wounds weave me into a circle where I can be vulnerable and know that I am not alone. 

There is an abundance of healing medicine in addition to any medication we might take. Sourney, my sweet furry companion is of course an excellent nurse in her own right. John’s support and care means the world to me. My dear and close friends who hold compassionate space for me are vital for my ongoing growth and care. This wondrous community of dancing monks brings me such delight. Then there are the things like baths and massages and gentle yoga which help me to cultivate pleasure in a body that is often in pain. The days I am able to go for a walk, even if that means less energy for other things later, always brings me such gifts of wonder. It is a worthwhile exchange. Being in nature and beholding the sea or the heron’s flight expand my heart. Writing when I am able is another creative joy. I hold these treasures like gold with a heart full of gratitude for moments of beauty. My wounds bring me present to the sparks of wonder. 

Making space for the grief that inevitably arises each time there is a letting go is also essential. I must cultivate joy and gratitude, wonder and delight to help sustain me through the many hours of pain and frustration. But I also lament and cry and let myself be vulnerable, not always holding it all together as is my pattern. Pain is exhausting. Fatigue is so limiting. Being ill and not being able to work as much can be challenging when you need to earn a living. I grow intimate with all the injustices around care in our world. Grieving is essential for honoring these realities. My wounds weep and ask me to feel my grief and express my anger in service of transformation. 

When I am in seasons of having a flare of my illness, I need stronger boundaries to protect my limited and precious energy. There are so many demands on my time and there are many wonderful things I wish I could say yes to but know that ultimately a Sacred No is in service to my overall well-being. Those who are well often like to offer treatment advice which can be exhausting and overwhelming to those with chronic pain and fatigue. My wounds demand that I cultivate slowness and help me to be very clear on what is essential in my life. 

I know it is in these wounded places that my compassion is deepened, and my writing and teaching emerge with much more tenderness and attunement to suffering. My wounds ask me to trust that there is a greater wisdom and current of creativity and love that will help to carry me. 

How will you practice resurrection this Easter season? I invite you to enter into a loving conversation with the wounds you carry and listen for those stories. See if there is wisdom that can help to sustain and enliven you. See if there is wisdom that might bring a small glimmer of resurrection right here and now. 

Please join Simon and me tomorrow for our contemplative prayer service where we will be practicing resurrection together. We will be joined by the lovely Te Martin who will share their gift of song with us. 

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

PS Christian Century published my interview on the love of thousands in the article “Our Unseen Companions. Read the interview here.

*Easter Blessing is by Christine Valters Paintner and from a forthcoming book of blessings (due to be published in spring 2026). 

Image “Blackberries in Burren, Ireland” © Christine Valters Paintner

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