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A Christmas Blessing

This blessing dances at the doorwayof light and dark, knows both as sacred:fertile womb space, miracle of blooming. This blessing breathesthrough those moments of laborwhen you too birth the holyinto this fragile, luminous, hurting world as Mary did two thousand years ago,eyes wide, hands gripping,waters breaking like crashing wavesof the primordial seasending a prayer through timethat echoes still,pulsing like starlightin an enormous sky. This blessing rests a handon the back of the lonelydisorientedlosthungrydespairingpersecutedto say your humanity is not an obstaclebut a threshold, to remind youthat the wound is a portalthrough which your gifts pour forth,that raw ache you feelis the

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Spiritual Wanderlust Podcast Interview

Christine Valters Paintner was interview by Kelly Deutsch on the Spiritual Wanderlust podcast. Together we dive into: 🔸 Why Mary has so many names🔹 Christine’s favorite name of Mary at this season in her life (it may surprise you!)🔸 How Christine ended up the abbess of an online monastery🔹How her love for Jungian thought intersects with her Catholic spirituality🔸 How the passing of her own mother birthed a book on Mary🔹Mary as warrior (an image in stark contrast to the placid woman in blue we usually see!)🔸 What was Hildegard’s favorite name for Mary, and what it has to do

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Hildy Tail: The Birth of the Messiah (Matthew 1:18-25)

This week we are featuring one of our Hildy Tails. This series of essays were composed last year for our Sustainers Circle. They were dictated to John by the Abbey’s mascot, Hildy the Monk-ey. Hildy is a bit of a free spirit who likes to entertain and doesn’t normally feel constrained by conventional story structure . . . or grammar, in general. She lives by the motto that “all stories are true; some actually happened.” We wanted to share them with you, our wider Abbey community, to give you a small monkey-sized, humorous perspective on some biblical passages and stories

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Sister Death and Samhain Pilgrimage

Blessings on this All Hallow’s Eve! I love this time of year as the darkness of the world grows, inviting me into more contemplative space, more rest, more dreamtime, more mystery. This time of the thinning of the veil also invites me to reflect on death as a spiritual practice. As the world turns inward and things outwardly appear to release and die, inwardly there is a profound nourishment happening and preparation for the bursting forth of seeds in the spring. The rest and darkness of this womb space is essential. Giving honor to our ancestors, those who have traveled

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Monk in the World Guest Post: Elaine Breckenridge

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Elaine Breckenridge’s reflection “Spiritual Guidance in and Through Creation.”   In the summer of 2020 I had the opportunity to read the book Earth, Our Original Monastery by Christine Valters Paintner and participate in an Abbey of the Arts community retreat by the same name. The retreat helped me out of my pandemic lethargy and into the great outdoors. There I experienced, as Christine has written in the book, spiritual guidance in and through God’s creation.    My journey

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Lughnasa and Gathering the Fruits ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims Lughnasa (pronounced Loo-nassah) is one of the ancient Celtic feasts celebrated on August 1st marking the time of the beginning of the harvest and the gathering in. It is said to honor the Celtic sun-god Lugh who was an ally to the farmer in the struggle for food. With the Summer Solstice six weeks before, you can start to really feel the shortening of the days in August in Ireland. There is a subtle shift in the light and the air that leans towards autumn’s crispness and cooler days.  The energy in the world is changing.

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I Am Not a Mistake: A Healing Service for the Queer Soul

Sunday, June 26, 2022 11:00am-12:30pm ET with Rev. Simon Ruth de Voil (he/they) and Dr. Jamie Marich (she/they) The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is happy to invite our friend Rev. Simon Ruth de Voil for this special program that they are hosting for Pride Month. Dr. Jamie Marich spends a great deal of time speaking about spiritual abuse and working with LGBTQ+ persons from a clinical perspective. This year, their clinical training organization wants the Pride Month offering to be something that is much more personal for members of the queer/LGBTQ+ communities and their allies. So many individuals who identify

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