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


Category: Monastic Spirituality


Listening to the Call of the Monk in the World + Prayer Cycle Day 6

Dear monks, artists, and pilgrims,  Today we release the audio podcasts for Day 6 of our Love of Thousands prayer cycle with morning and evening prayer. The themes for the morning are cosmology, myth, and song inspired by the stories and music that has inspired our ancestors and still runs through our blood and bone. The evening theme is on becoming a wise and well ancestor ourselves, which means bringing our gifts fully into the world so those generations that come later will benefit (even if we don’t have children ourselves).  Each day when I awaken I listen to morning prayer of

Read More

Christine Interviewed by Leadership Conference of Women Religious

I was recently interviewed on Leadership Conference of Women Religious on “Entering a Relationship with Radiance” for their summer journal. Read the interview below or download the PDF to see the printed version. Christine Valters Paintner heads Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery and global community offering programs and resources for contemplative practice and creative expression. She is the author of 20 books on prayer and creativity including three collections of poetry. Christine lives out her commitment as a Benedictine oblate and monk in the world in the west of Ireland. You have studied and written extensively about the mystics

Read More

The Call of Retreat: Silence (the Abbess is away until August 25th)

This week I follow the call to sink into the silence and stillness. Solitude calls my name and shows me my reflection as a sacred offering.  In this place the forest will ask me to embrace my truth once again. The hummingbird will invite me to sip holy nectar, the egret to stretch out my wings, the sparrows to remember my flock. Each pine cone contains an epiphany, each smooth stone offers a revelation. I will watch and witness as the sun slowly makes her long arc across the sky and discover my own rising and falling. The moon will sing of quiet miracles – like those which reveal and

Read More

Visual Meditation: World Congress of Benedictine Oblates

A visual meditation with images from my travels during the World Congress of Benedictine Oblates in October 2009. The photos were taken in the Vatican City, Rome, Subiaco (Benedict’s Cave), Monte Cassino (Benedictine monastery), and Sant’Anselmo (Primatial Abbey). The music is by Hildegard of Bingen. © Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts: Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

Read More

Retreat & Learning Opportunities

A quick note to let you know that my Teaching Calendar has been updated with several upcoming retreat & workshop opportunities. A reminder to join Betsey Beckman and me for a wonderful Art & Movement retreat to Honor Our Ancestors over the weekend of Halloween, Samhain, and All Saint’s.  This will be a beautiful time of welcoming in the dark half of the year and the wisdom of our ancestors who beat within our very blood.  Through ritual, storytelling, art-making, gentle movement, poetry, and being in nature, we will deepen our awareness of the gifts of those who have walked

Read More

Happy Feast of St. Hildegard

Hildegard of Bingen was my doorway into the Benedictine life.  While in graduate school I was studying for my “History of Christian Spirituality” comprehensive examination (a fearful and awesome task if there ever was one) and actually had a slight disdain for those ancient monks.  My spirituality up until that point had been quite infused by the Ignatian vision of working for justice.  I was turned off by the body-denying practices of monasticism (at least in its earlier forms) and wondered how those who chose a cloistered life could truly be engaged with the suffering of the world. Of course,

Read More

Monastic Wisdom

A monastery can never be merely an escape from the world. Its very purpose is to enable us to face the problems of the world at their deepest level, that is to say, in relation to God and eternal life. Everything in the monastic life down to the deepest level has to be viewed from this angle.  –Bede Griffiths, The Golden String: An Autobiography The real monastic walks through life with a barefooted soul, alert, aware, grateful, and only partially at home.  -Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today

Read More