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Category: Mystics and Saints


St. Gobnait and the Place of Resurrection ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, Our featured self-study this month has been our virtual Celtic pilgrimage honoring Saints Brigid, Ciaran, and Gobnait. The pandemic inspired many new creative offerings and the virtual pilgrimages have been a favorite. (We have a brand new Celtic pilgrimage coming in late April for Beltaine where you can join us live for 9 days).  I only learned about St. Gobnait after moving to Ireland, but she is perhaps one of my favorite of the Irish saints. She is a fifth- and sixth-century monk who fled her home in County Clare and headed first for the island of Insheer. It is

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Sister Thea Bowman ~ A Love from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, We are very excited to be hosting ValLimar Jansen this Friday for a mini-retreat. She is an extraordinary musician and performer and has a special love for Sister Thea Bowman, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and prophetic witness to the Black American Catholic experience who worked to break down racial and cultural barriers. ValLimar wrote a musical to celebrate Sister Thea’s life.  ValLimar shares this reflection with us that she wrote originally for Liguori Publications:  Sister Thea Bowman was a trailblazing African American Catholic religious sister. She was a powerful voice for social justice and a passionate

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Imbolc and Brigid’s Mantle ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, February 1st-2nd marks a confluence of several feasts and occasions including: the Celtic feast of Imbolc, St. Brigid’s Day, Candlemas, Feast of the Presentation, and Groundhog Day in the northern hemisphere! (Imbolc is August 1st in the southern hemisphere). Imbolc is a Celtic feast that is a cross-quarter day, meaning it is the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. The sun marks the four Quarter Days of the year (the Solstices and Equinoxes) and the midpoints are the cross-quarter days.  In some cultures, like Ireland, February 2nd is the official beginning of spring. As

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Ireland’s Mermaid Saint ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, Next Saturday is the Feast of St. Muirgen, Ireland’s very own mermaid saint. Her story was written down in the 6th century and is a powerful metaphor for our own journeys of loss, descent, grief, and then finding our own sacred song. I will be leading a mini-retreat on Friday (the eve of her feast day) inviting you to explore her wisdom for your own life.  I am blessed to live by the sea. I go often to the water to listen to her ancient rhythms and the primordial voice whispering in the waves. I go because it is

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The Heart of Mysticism ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

“The Christian of the future will be a mystic, or [s]he will not exist at all.” —Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations Dearest monks and artists, In a week we begin our 14-week online companion journey through my book The Love of Thousands: How Angels, Saints, and Ancestors Walk With Us Toward Holiness. When we speak of the saints, we do not refer to people inaccessible to us and our lives, but to friends of the heart who dwell beyond the veil between worlds. They call us to our own paths of holiness.  This is an adapted excerpted from the book:  At the heart

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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

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Celtic Spirituality Retreat + Day 3 Mary Prayer Cycle ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, We continue this week with the release of our Day 3 Birthing the Holy video podcast that accompanies my book Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal. Day 3 Morning and Evening Prayer take the themes of Star of the Sea and Vessel of Grace.  Here is an excerpt from Day 3 Morning: Opening Prayer Stella Maris, Mary, Star of the Sea, we look to the night sky to see your brilliance shining upon the world. Be with us as a guiding light and safe harbour on our journey of surrender and trust. Show

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