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Sacred Time: Embracing an Intentional Way of Life

Author: Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE, OBLSB
Ave Maria Press
Publication date:
February 19, 2021


We live in a world where there never seems to be enough time for all we want and need to do. In Sacred Time: Embracing an Intentional Way of Life, Christine Valters Paintner guides us as we move beyond our own lives and embrace a world that urges us toward rest, reflection, and growth.

In Sacred Time, Paintner, abbess of the online Abbey of the Arts, shows us how by becoming in tune with the rhythms of the natural world, we can live more intentionally and experience a conversion toward a more expansive way of being. Paintner introduces us to the eight cycles of sacred time that exist in our everyday lives. These cycles that can ground us through our busy lives are

  • breath,
  • rhythms of the day,
  • weekly rhythms and Sabbath rest,
  • waxing and waning lunar cycles,
  • seasons of the year,
  • seasons of a lifetime,
  • ancestral time, and
  • cosmic time.

Each cycle encourages us to mindfully consider the time that passes as quickly as each breath and as slowly as the passing of generations. Within each cycle, we find wisdom from sacred tradition and the saints, including St. Benedict, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and St. Hildegard of Bingen; room for growth; and the presence of the Divine. Along the way, we are also given scriptural guidance, and we are invited to spiritual practices and creative explorations that will help deepen our understanding of each cycle, allow that understanding to take root in our lives, and expand our lives beyond the pressures of each day.

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Interview with Christine by Spirit Mornings Catholic Radio

Praise for the Book

In a season of life when time feels chaotic and uneven—sometimes slow, sometimes racing, sometimes monotonous, sometimes crazy—Christine Valters Paintner’s book reminds me that I do not need to manage time but rather manage myself within the time that I am given: a time marked by cycles and seasons outside my control but beautiful and organic and awaiting my embrace. In Sacred Time, she eases me into a new appreciation for how God is at work in the mystery of time.
Ann M. Garrido
Associate Professor of Homiletics, Aquinas Institute of Theology
In a world of increasing speed, work, and distraction, Christine Valters Painter’s Sacred Time is a welcome guide to shifting our spiritual gears into a mode of renewed attentiveness and intentionality. Beautifully written, this book helps readers adjust the rhythms of their lives to align more closely with that of God and creation.
Rev. Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M.
Duns Scotus Chair of Spirituality, Catholic Theological Union, Author of The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton
Christine Valters Paintner’s vision deftly translates the seasons of the heart and cycles of the solar and lunar year into pathways of enlightenment and spiritual growth. As with the online experience out of which this book grew, Sacred Time is a rich feast of wisdom that encourages personal insights and a pilgrimage that leads us intentionally toward ‘time out of time.
Moira Anne MacDermaid
Poet and Abbey of the Arts Sacred Time Jubilee participant
Christine Valters Paintner invites us into a focused relationship with time that calls us to view it not as scarce, but as rhythmic and spacious, abundant and eternal.
Review by Kathryn Madden, rc
for Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction