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Illuminating the Way

Illuminating the Way

Embracing the Wisdom of Monks and Mystics 

Author: Christine Valters Paintner

Price: $17.95

Format: Paperback

Pages: 224

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 978-1-933495-93-4

Imprint: Sorin Books

On-sale date: April 29, 2016

More Personal Growth, Spirituality


Popular author of eight books and abbess of the online retreat center Abbey of the Arts, Christine Valters Paintner explores how the lives and spirituality of twelve monks and mystics offer distinct patterns of thought that will lead you to a deeper understanding of your strengths and areas of growth and will guide you on the path to your true spiritual identity.

In Illuminating the Way, Christine Valters Paintner takes you on a journey through your inner life accompanied by twelve great monks and mystics from the Christian tradition. Each figure invites you to discover the energy and potential of a particular archetype—the inner sage in Benedict; the inner visionary in Hildegard of Bingen; and the inner orphan in Dorothy Day. From the prophet Miriam of the Hebrew scriptures to twentieth century monk Thomas Merton, Paintner offers an array of challenging and enlivening models to explore.

Paintner is beloved by readers for her creative practices, guided meditations, and beautiful prayers and poems, and she has included all of these elements in her new book to further explore the image associated with each mystic. Her insightful reflections on key selections of each mystic’s writings will help you gain greater self-knowledge and experience a deeper encounter with God.

Each chapter also includes a full-color painting of each monk or mystic by Marcy Hall with commentary by Paintner and scripture passages and mediations by Paintner’s husband, John.

Supplemental materials, including a CD with music, a DVD with movement prayers, and a book that includes images, poems, and music notations are available on Paintner’s website

Features & Benefits

  • Christine Valters Paintner’s four previous titles with Sorin Books have combined sales of more than 25,000 copies.
  • Paintner is a leader in developing user-friendly online resources. Paintner’s receives more than 10,000 unique visitors per month and 50,000 pageviews. Her weekly email newsletter has 9,000 subscribers and continues to grow.
  • During the 2015 Lent and Advent seasons, Paintner lead online retreats focused on the contents of the book. Each retreat had more than 200 participants.
  • Paintner and Betsy Beckman created supplemental materials: a CD with music; a DVD with movement prayers; and a book that includes images, poems, and music notations.


"A wonderful resource."

"In this creative work, Christine Valters Paintner offers us a pilgrimage through the lives of sages, healers, mystics, visionaries, and more—inviting us to feast on their wisdom and explore how their gift of life can illuminate the way for us. This is a wonderful resource and I joyfully recommend it."

Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B.
Author of Seven Sacred Pauses

"Join the circle."

"Illuminating the Way combines meditation, poetry, art, and more to reveal the singing heart of our tradition’s great wisdom keepers. Jesus has been called the Lord of the Dance—this sumptuous book calls us to join the circle."

Carl McColman
Author of Befriending Silence

"A real treasure."

"Illuminating the Way generously offers myriad pathways to discover and explore the multiple selves that dwell within each of us. It’s a book that will expand you, a real treasure that you will return to again and again."

Colette Lafia
Author of Seeking Surrender

"A vibrant green path."

"Christine Valters Paintner creates a vibrant green path—a path I love to walk. In Illuminating the Way, she invites saints and mystics to join us on that path. The Hebrew prophet Miriam, the Celtic monk Brendan, and contemporary writers like Rainer Maria Rilke and Thomas Merton—along with eight others—step out of their books, walk beside us, and do, indeed, illumine the path."

Janet Conner
Author of Writing Down Your Soul

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