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A Different Kind of Fast: Feeding Our True Hungers in Lent

Author: Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE, OBLSB
Broadleaf Books
Publication date:
January 2, 2024


“Inherently interesting, inspired and inspiring, ‘A Different Kind of Fast: Feeding Our True Hungers in Lent’ is an extraordinary contribution to the Christian community and an unreservedly recommended pick for church and seminary library collections.”
~ The Midwest Book Review
“This serious fast is also a meaty feast of resources.
~ Jon M. Sweeny, Sprituality & Practice

Clarify your true hungers–and nourish your soul.

Fasting is not just the physical practice of giving up food. Fasting can also be a way to combat our culture of endless distractions and busyness. Fasting is an act of letting go, of making more internal space to listen to the sacred whispers of our lives. Join Christine Valters Paintner, online abbess of Abbey of the Arts, on a spiritual journey through seven different kinds of fasts, including fasting from control, from our attachments, from ego-investment, and more. When we practice these fasts, we can discover unexpected spiritual gifts, as well as answers to deeper questions, leading us to ask: “What is my true hunger?”

Perfect for Lent, or any period when a deeper intention to clarify your true hunger is needed, A Different Kind of Fast helps us enter our hearts, stripping away old patterns and habits. Featuring striking woodcuts from artist Kreg Yingst, the book draws on the wisdom of the desert elders, Paintner offers practical contemplative practices like lectio divina, breath prayer, visio divina, meditation with desert wisdom, contemplative walks, and creative rituals. As we fast from rushing, planning, being strong, holding it all together, seeking certainty, and control, we can softly reorient ourselves toward that which nourishes and fulfills us, for the reflective Lenten season and beyond.

A Different Kind of Fast Around the Web

Articles and Interviews

Compass Podcast: “Lent, Fasting, and Spiritual Nourishment” Listen to the Podcast | View the Podcast on YouTube

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Praise for the Book

In "A Different Kind of Fast," Christine Valters Paintner takes readers on a transformative pilgrimage of self-discovery and spiritual growth. With wisdom and grace, she unveils our deep yearning for our true home in God and offers a treasure trove of practices and guidance to nourish our souls. Reading this book is like sitting at the feet of a modern-day desert mother, who, with wisdom and care, guides us on our way. I wholeheartedly recommend "A Different Kind of Fast" to anyone seeking a profound Lenten experience or simply desiring to feel closer to God.
Adam Bucko
author of Let Your Heartbreak Be Your Guide: Lessons in Engaged Contemplation
Christine Valters Paintner has a wonderful gift for inviting us to meet traditional spiritual practices in new and expansive ways. "A Different Kind of Fast" is both a deeply nourishing re-visioning of fasting, but also a new, beautiful and insightful approach to the season of Lent. It's perfect for everyone, whether you are new to Lent or have a long relationship with this season of prayer.
Carl McColman
Carl McColman, author of The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Eternal Heart
In a time when consumerist pressure weighs heavily on all of us, Christine Valters Paintner's "A Different Kind of Fast" asks us to consider what "giving something up" for Lent really means. Drawing on the wisdom of the desert mothers and fathers and their contemporary descendants, this book offers readers a multi-sensory approach to contemplation that is sensitive, thoughtful and inclusive.
Kaya Oakes
author of The Defiant Middle and Radical Reinvention
This insightful book will help open doors for spiritual directors they may not have anticipated. Highly recommended!
Rev Seifu Singh-Molares
Executive Director, Spiritual Directors International (SDI)