The Inexpressible Delight of Love: Benedict of Nursia
with Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, OblSB
Saturday, March 18, 2023
9am-12 pm Pacific
12-3 pm Eastern
4-7 pm Ireland/UK time*
*Due to daylight saving time occurring in the US and Canada before Europe, the time in Ireland/UK will be different. Please double-check your own time zone for changes.
This retreat is part of our 10 month series The Mystical Heart: Love as a Creative Force.
Listen carefully, my child, to your master’s precepts, and incline the ear of your heart. Receive willingly and carry out effectively your loving father’s advice, that by the labor of obedience you may return to God.
-Prologue, Rule of Benedict
Benedict of Nursia (480-548) is considered to be one of the founders of communal monasticism and his Rule still guides the spiritual path of millions of monks, nuns, oblates (those who commit to follow the Benedictine way in everyday life) and other lay people across the globe. His enduring wisdom offers us soulful guidance in troubled times. These opening lines of the Rule above invite the reader to listen with the “ear of the heart” meaning to listen from a place of loving receptivity as opposed to analysis or consumption. He himself writes from a place of “loving advice” offering insight into how to deepen our loving relationship to the divine. The Rule’s Prologue culminates in the call to let our hearts overflow with the inexpressible delight of love.
Our retreat will focus on Benedict’s teaching in the Prologue and on chapter 72 about the good zeal of monks which he counsels we should seek with “ardent love.” This good zeal is a way of being in the world that seeks out and supports the goodness in others which is juxtaposed by Benedict to the evil zeal which are the things that become poisonous to communities like gossip and competition.
Join us three days before St. Benedict’s feast day (March 21st). Through teaching, meditation, quiet reflection, song, gentle movement, writing invitations, and the chance for large and small group sharing, to explore ways to cultivate greater love in our lives.
Simon de Voil will provide music for our retreat.
The retreat will be recorded for those who register and made available within 48-72 hours of the program. We will send a notification when it is ready for viewing.
Your Guides for the Journey
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, OblSB
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE, OblSB is the online Abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery and global community integrating contemplative practice and creative expression. Her programs draw on the wisdom of the desert, Celtic, and Benedictine spiritual traditions as well as the joy of the expressive arts, embodied practice, and Earth-cherishing wisdom. Christine is the author of numerous books on spirituality and creativity, including three collections of poetry. She lives our her commitment as a Benedictine oblate on the west coast of Ireland with her husband John and dog Sourney. Find out more about her here.
Simon de Voil
Reverend Simon Ruth de Voil is an interfaith-interspiritual minister, sacred musician, spiritual counsellor, and chaplain. His sacred work—both musical and interpersonal—explores themes of the inner landscape of the soul, the enchantment of the natural world, and the healing power of spiritual practice. As a chaplain and counsellor, Simon helps individuals and groups connect sacred presence with everyday life. Simon is also a transgender activist and a luthier in training. Visit Simon’s website.
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