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

Summer Sabbatical and Self-Study Sale

Blessing for Sabbath*

Sanctifier of holy rest,
on the seventh day you paused,
the work
of creation
and entered into sacred stillness.

Let us remember we were freed from slavery
in Egypt and you continue to call us
to be people of liberation.
Kindle in us the strength to say no
to a world of perpetual busyness.
Inspire us to set aside our plans
and goals to receive the lavish gift
of rest for ourselves,
to rediscover the Paradise within.

Let the Sabbath be a time of profound renewal,
a gushing forth of the holy well,
a time of intimate connection with You,
and a rekindling of our sacred desires to be of service.
Sustain in us the desire to simply be
and not succumb to the demands
of productivity and an endless string of achievements.

Let our lives be a loving witness to a world
of restoration and refreshment,
of the profound goodness of joy and delight,
taking pleasure in the generous gift of pausing.

Dearest monks and artists,

Every summer we try to step back from this wonderful work and take a bit of time off for planning, dreaming, and resting. Sabbath is one of the profound gifts of a generous and abundant divine presence who says that work is good and rest is necessary. 

It is an essential part of contributing to a more just and beautiful world. 

We are so grateful for all the ways this community supports our work in the world and we are eager to listen more deeply in the coming weeks to what new things want to be birthed through the Abbey in the coming year.

We will be taking a break from our weekly love notes and daily quotes and questions starting tomorrow and will return on Sunday, August 4th with more Abbey goodness. You are still welcome to email us (or register for programs) we might just be a bit slower to respond than usual.

Theologian Walter Brueggemann has a brilliant little book titled Sabbath as Resistance. He describes the origins of the practice of Sabbath in the story of the Exodus in which the Israelites are freed from endless productivity and relentless labor into a way of being where rest is essential, and we reject our slavery to perpetual doing.  

The God who is revealed in this story is completely unlike any they have known before, a God committed to relationship and rest

It is worth imagining for a moment the revolutionary power of this revelation and how strange the Israelites seemed to other cultures in their radical commitment to a day of rest each week as an act of resistance to the endless systems of anxiety. Everyone rested, no matter what gender or social class, because God saw that as very good. 

It is worth further imagining the ways that each of us is enslaved in our own way by the current culture and system of perpetual overwork and exhaustion, of busyness and relentless doing. 

We may have our freedom on some levels, but how many of us choose to exercise that in favor of our own nourishment and replenishment? 

We invite you into your own Sabbath moments in the coming days. 

We are also sharing above our newest dancing monk icon with you – Margery Kempe – a 14th-15th century English mystic and pilgrim. Margery had at least 14 children and suffered with serious post-partum depression after the birth of her first child. She also had many powerful visions that eventually led her to write the first autobiography in English and years later to go off on several pilgrimages to places like Jerusalem, Rome, and Germany, at a time when as a woman this would have been quite difficult to do. She is one of the seven mystics who has asked to be part of my next book project, and she will be my companion during this Sabbath rest time and writing pilgrimage. 

It also happens to be my birthday today and John’s is tomorrow (yes, we were born a day apart, same year). I am reflecting a lot these days on the harvest of my work and relationships and feeling enormous gratitude for the richness of my life which is in large part because of each of you. I will be carrying these reflections into my Sabbath time. 

If you would like ongoing spiritual support this summer, consider our rich catalogue of self-study programs which are now on sale through June 30th. (Use code SUMMER20 to take 20% off.) With lifetime access to the materials you can take your time and allow your journey to be slow. 

Wishing you a season of resting and dancing dearest monks.

With great and growing love,


Christine Valters Paintner, OblSB, PhD, REACE

*Blessing for Sabbath is by Christine Valters Paintner (from a forthcoming book of blessings due spring 2026) 

Dancing Monk icon by Marcy Hall | Prints available at Redbubble

You might also enjoy

Summer Solstice Blessing

Summer Solstice Blessing*Radiant One,creator of the cosmosand the luminaries which light our way,bless this day of longest lightand the gift of the sunto bring warmth to our livesand abundance of growth,sweetness of blueberries,refreshment of lemons,nourishment of kaleand a thousand other kinds of food.We sing in

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Sharon Clymer Landis

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to our Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Sharon Clymer Landis’s reflection on the wisdom and love of a foster dog. I’m fostering a dog named Ladybug. She was caught

Read More »