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Paintner Helps Readers Contact Inner Monk, Artist

July 11, 2011

Notre Dame, INChristine Valters Paintner, spiritual guide and regular contributor to Patheos, introduces a twelve-week journey to connecting creativity and spirituality in daily life through lectio divina, reflection, walking, and a variety of artful projects. Each chapter has a different creative goal, with projects that include making wisdom cards, writing poetry from prompts, or gathering items for a personal art altar. All activities focus on connecting the work of the hands with internal reflection on spiritual truths.

“Every aspect of our lives can be an arena for creative work,” Paintner writes, “When we make space to breathe deeply—in our jobs, relationships, and leisure—we open ourselves up to give voice to vision and birth to newness.” The journey toward creativity and monastic practice is a gentle one, Paintner claims. She encourages readers to welcome each day as a new beginning, quoting St. Benedict: “Always we begin again.” Paintner believes that the greatest freedom and spiritual insight will come as the reader allows herself to be imperfect. “Give yourself permission to make mistakes,” Paintner writes, “to make bad art, or to write something that doesn’t sound even close to perfect. This is the way we begin to cultivate inner freedom, by allowing ourselves a full range of expression as a journey of discovery.”

Easily adapted for use in a reading group or book study, The Artist’s Rule is a powerful and down-to-earth read. Paintner writes from the heart about her own experiences in spirituality as well as sharing valuable lessons from historical leaders and poets such as Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Albert Einstien, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

About Christine Valters Paintner

Christine Valters Paintner is the online abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery offering classes and resources on contemplative practice and creative expression. She earned a doctorate in Christian spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and achieved professional status as a registered expressive arts consultant and educator from the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.

Paintner is the author of thirteen books on monasticism and creativity, including The Soul’s Slow Ripening; Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire; ;The Artist’s Rule; The Soul of a Pilgrim; Illuminating the Way; The Wisdom of the Body; and a collection of poems called Dreaming of Stones. She leads writing retreats and pilgrimages in Ireland, Scotland, Austria, and Germany and online retreats at her website, living out her commitment as a Benedictine Oblate in Galway, Ireland, with her husband, John.


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June 27, 2012
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