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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.

Program Description

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.

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.


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

We offer a sliding scale of 3 fees for payment. The reduced fee for those who have lost their income and the sponsorship fee helps support our ability to offer scholarships. In an effort to keep this program accessible, please carefully consider both your own resources as well as honoring the expense, time, and energy required to run these programs and keep our work sustainable. Thank you!
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If you need a different payment plan or a greater scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

These videos are made available to registered participants and may also be included in future versions of the program including self-study. If you choose to speak during a recorded gathering, you are giving us your consent to record that contribution. If you prefer not to be seen or heard, you can of course switch off or mute your camera or microphone at any time. Chat sessions are recorded and posted as well. Participation in the chat function is also giving consent to their recording. Breakout groups are never recorded.

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.