The Soul of a Pilgrim

Eight Practices for the Journey Within

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: May 7, 2015

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The renowned author of eight books and abbess of the online retreat center Abbey of the Arts, Christine Valters Paintner takes readers on a new kind of pilgrimage: an inner journey to discover the heart of God. Eight stages of the pilgrim’s way—from hearing the call to coming home—are accompanied by scripture stories of great biblical journeys and the author’s unique and creative practices of prayer, writing, and photography.  

As she did in The Artist’s Rule and Eyes of the Heart, Paintner once again helps readers travel to the frontiers of their souls to discover the hidden presence of God. In The Soul of a Pilgrim, Paintner identifies eight stages of the pilgrim’s way and shows how to follow these steps to make an intentional, transformative journey to the reader’s inner “wild edges.” Each phase of the exploration requires a distinct practice such as packing lightly, being uncomfortable, or embracing the unknown. Paintner shows how to cultivate attentiveness to the divine through deep listening, patience, and opening oneself to the gifts that arise in the midst of discomfort.

Each of the eight chapters offers reflections on the themes, a scripture story, an invitation to the practice of lectio divina, and a creative exploration through photography and writing.

Features & Benefits:

  • The author's website,, receives more than 10,000 unique visitors and 50,000 page views per month. 
  • Paintner writes the Seasons of the Soul column on Patheos.

Product Details

Pages: 160

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9781933495866

Imprint: Sorin Books

  • “Marvelous book.”

    “Christine Valters Paintner’s latest work is an invitation to take leave of the familiar and go on pilgrimage by simplifying one’s life, letting go of pre-conceived and perhaps deeply rooted notions, and opening oneself up to the Spirit of wisdom in one’s heart. This marvelous book takes the reader on a journey of discovery that can profoundly change the direction of one’s life.”

    Edward Sellner
    Author of Pilgrimage: Exploring a Great Spiritual Practice

  • “A transformative way of pilgrimage.”

    “Christine Valters Paintner and her husband John beckon the reader toward a transformative way of pilgrimage. Poetry, practices, and midrash weave this wisdom into daily life.”

    Mary C. Earle
    Author of Marvelously Made: Gratefulness and the Body

  • “The perfect companion.”

    “Making our own pilgrimage to the heart inside our heart is perhaps the most challenging and yet most rewarding journey we can make. The Soul of a Pilgrim is the perfect companion to have in our pocket along the way.”

    Bruce Davis
    Retreat Leader

  • “My personal favorite.”

    “Of all the books that Christine Paintner has written, this is by far my personal favorite. To refer to it as a comprehensive manual for the journey doesn’t do justice to the incredible richness of its resources. It definitely reawakened the inner pilgrim in me!”

    Wil Hernandez, Obl. O.S.B.
    Founder and Executive Director

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Additional Resources

Spirituality and Practice Review
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The Eight Spiritual Practices in The Soul of a Pilgrim (Infographic)
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The Soul Directed Life Broadcast Interview
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