The Love of Thousands: How Angels, Saints, and Ancestors Walk With Us Toward Holiness
Ave Maria Press
August 18, 2023
Is it possible that angels, saints, and even our departed ancestors support and inspire us throughout our lives? How can we connect with them in a real way?
Christine Valters Paintner, popular spiritual writer and abbess of the online Abbey of the Arts, says these sacred beings are paving the way for our journey toward God’s love, even as we pass through a world rife with struggle, discord, and violence. In The Love of Thousands, she helps us open up our spiritual imagination to encounter our heavenly helpers, allowing us to become everyday mystics.
Paintner describes saints, angels, and our ancestors as sacred beings who surround us like concentric circles, watching over us with compassion and offering us spiritual guidance throughout our lives.
In The Love of Thousands, she guides us to see the ways these beings support us, from the care of our guardian angels, to the wisdom of the mystics, to the witness of our loved ones who have crossed the threshold to the light of God’s presence.
Paintner’s gentle guidance reveals that we can be inspired and sustained when we are open and attentive in exploring our connections to these holy companions walking alongside us. Transformed by the encounter, we can grow into the kinds of ancestors—part of the Communion of Saints—who offer spiritual support and wisdom to others in turn.
Throughout The Love of Thousands, we are led to explore and better understand
- the teachings from scripture and tradition about the four archangels, the protection offered by our guardian angels, and what it might look like to wrestle with angels as Jacob did in the Old Testament;
- the witness of the saints and mystics, with an exploration of how we are all called to be mystics;
- the tradition of relics and the practice of pilgrimage;
- the presence of our ancestors, inviting us first to claim the blessings of our family heritage and then to embrace grief and explore healing the wounds of our lineage.
Each chapter includes a reflection, practice, meditation, and creative exercise that will help cultivate an ongoing relationship with angels, saints, and our ancestors. Paintner also suggests various ways to engage with this book to reflect more deeply on the spiritual content, such as reading it over the course of a year or with others as a form of spiritual pilgrimage.
A companion album and prayer cycle will be released in fall 2023.
The Love of Thousands Around the Web
Articles and Interviews:
US Catholic ~ Our Ancestors are Allies for Our Creative Journey
Interview in National Catholic Reporter ~ ‘The Love of Thousands’ Describes Building Bridges Beyond the Veil
Interview in Our Sunday Visitor ~ ‘The Love of Thousands’ Help Connecting to Our Spiritual Ancestors
by Jon M. Sweeney at Spirituality & Practice
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