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Category: Mystics and Saints


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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Julian of Norwich in Her Sick Bed ~ A Love Note and Poem Video from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, I am delighted to share I have a third poetry collection being published on May 9th from Paraclete Press titled Love Holds You: Poems and Devotions for Times of Uncertainty.  I have long loved the wisdom of Julian but like many, when the pandemic arrived, she became my patron saint of lockdown and compassionate retreat. She herself lived during times of plague, so knew the fears of times like that. Her gift to me was as a companion during the long quiet days full of the ordinary graces of life.  Since then I have had my own

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The Joy of God’s Love: Julian of Norwich

We are delighted to welcome Carl McColman on Saturday, May 13th (the feast of Julian!) to lead us in a mini-retreat on her wisdom about divine love.  This is an excerpt from his book, Christian Mystics: 108 Seers, Saints and Sages (published by Broadleaf Books). Julian of Norwich wrote a beautiful book about her visions, but it reveals very few details about her life; in fact, we have no idea what her real name is. The name by which she is known comes from her association with the Church of Saint Julian in the English town of Norwich, where at some point in her life she

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Some Updates from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, This past Monday our Wisdom Council gathered together online for our semi-annual time of reflection, inspiration, and planning. We are extraordinarily blessed with a group of 14 members who are heart-centered, contemplative leaders committed to helping Abbey of the Arts continue to flourish and serve this community in challenging times.  We first created the Wisdom Council several years ago when John and I realized we wanted more support for what was emerging, we wanted it to be a truly collaborative vision. While we are not a registered charity or non-profit structure, primarily because we went that path

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Desert Wisdom and the Practice of Love ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Next Saturday we continue our pilgrimage through the mystics when I will be leading a retreat on desert father St. Anthony the Great and desert wisdom. St. Anthony, also known as Anthony the Great, is considered to be the founder of the Christian monastic movement.  He moved into the desert at the end of the third century to seek solitude and by the end of his life thousands had followed him there to imitate his way of life of extreme asceticism.   Paul of Thebes is recorded as the actual first monk in Christian tradition to live in

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New Year Blessings and Gratitude ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, For the last 14 years we have hosted our annual Give Me a Word mini-retreat and invitation for you to share your word for the year with our community. You can find out more about it at this post. Some years my word comes quickly and some years it demands a lot more listening and waiting until I receive it. Sometimes I feel certain the word is shimmering and other times I am uncertain and so hold whatever seems to come lightly and with openness.  As many of you know the first half of last year was a

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