Ave Maria Press 2018
What does God desire for your life?
Christine Valters Paintner, bestselling Catholic author and online abbess for Abbey of the Arts, uses reflections, stories, guided activities, prayer experiences, and a variety of creative arts to help you patiently and attentively listen to God’s invitation.
Everyone wants to understand God’s call in their lives. Christine Valters Paintner shares one of the most ancient paths to understanding from her study of monasticism and immersion into Celtic spirituality while living in Ireland. The Celtic way, which Paintner distills into twelve practices, offers discernment that focuses on the environment rather than the intellectual focus present in other forms of discernment. It allows for what Paintner calls the “soul’s slow ripening,” coming into the fullness of our own sweetness before we pluck the fruit.
Each chapter begins with a story of a particular Irish saint—some well-known like Patrick or Brigid, others less so, such as Ita and Ciaran—and then introduces a helpful practice for discernment that the saint’s life illustrates. Paintner explores the call of dreams, the importance of thresholds, the practice of peregrination (wandering for the love of God), walking the rounds, learning by heart, soul friends, blessing each moment, and the wisdom of the landscape and the seasons. Readers are invited to explore these concepts through photography and writing. She invites us to contemplative walks with specific themes along with poetic writing prompts for expression.
As you explore an alternate way of discerning a spiritual path—one which honors the moment-by-moment invitations and the soul’s seasonal rhythms—you will discover that this book will help you become more aligned with creativity and wholeness.
Praise for the Book
"What a delight to encounter this rich, multi-layered text in which we are given practices informed by Celtic spirituality and the lives of the Celtic saints. Meant for savoring, this book invites us to remember insights treasured by Celtic Christians, and to incorporate those ways of praying into daily life"
—Mary C. Earle, author of Celtic Christian Spirituality: Essential Writings and Holy Companions: Spiritual Practices from the Celtic Saints
“Christine Valters Painter has written another excellent book for spiritual seekers desiring insight, encouragement, and inspiration on their spiritual paths. In The Soul’s Slow Ripening, she provides readers a series of practices inspired by the Irish traditions that will help readers, as she says, live into ‘new ways of being’ by pursuing such helpful practices as working with dreams, going on pilgrimages, having a soul friend, and seeking solitude. I cannot recommend enough this practical guide to soul-making.”
—Edward C. Sellner, author of Wisdom of the Celtic Saints
"Celtic Spirituality is an embodied spirituality–a path of poetry, creativity, and intuition. Christine Valters Paintner guides the wisdom of the Celts straight into the heart with her wonderful mix of stories and practices. The Soul's Slow Ripening shows us the way to walk this ancient path today." —Carl McColman, Author of Befriending Silence
"The Soul's Slow Ripening is a threshold experience you didn't know your soul was longing for. But then, you crack the cover, turn the pages, and watch in wonder as Christine Valters Paintner takes you gently by the hand and invites you to walk in, and through, and around twelve heart-expanding Celtic practices. Along the way, you realize that you, too, have a wild and sacred Celtic heart." —Janet Conner, Host of The Soul-Directed Life and author of Find Your Soul's Purpose