Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal

Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal

Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal

Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal


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Do you long to feel more alive, to see the vibrancy in your daily life? Do you feel the seeds of a new calling tugging at you?

Look to the Blessed Mother for help. In Birthing the Holy, Christine Valters Paintner—abbess of the online Abbey of the Arts—invites you to better know Mary and her heart through thirty-one of her titles, and, along the way, you’ll nurture the new growth in your life.

The Blessed Mother is known by many beautiful titles, some of which are familiar—Virgin, Queen of Peace, and Star of the Sea—and some we may not be aware of—Vessel of Grace, Greenest Branch, and Our Lady of Silence.

Paintner offers a flexible format to reflect on Mary’s titles through a thirty-one-day personal retreat, a series of novenas, or with visio divina exercises using striking images by printmaker Kreg Yingst. As you reflect on Mary in her role as Mother of Good Counsel, Woman Clothed with the Sun, Mystical Rose, Mother of Sorrows, Queen of the Angels, and other titles, Paintner invites you to hear what God calls you to develop in your life, help that dream or vision grow, and then nourish it in the world.

Whether you’re meeting Mary for the first time in these magnificent titles or revisiting her as a beloved companion, Birthing the Holy invites you to see the exploration of Mary and your life as a spiritual and creative act, one that can help deepen your faith even as it sparks new growth within you.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932057270
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Publication date: 04/08/2022
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 285,528
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

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. She is also trained as a spiritual director and supervisor.

Paintner is the author of seventeen books on monasticism and creativity, including Sacred Time; Earth, Our Original Monastery; 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 three collections of poetry. She is a Benedictine oblate living in Galway, Ireland, with her husband, John. Together they lead online retreats at their website

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part I Support for the Retreat Journey

Queen of the Holy Rosary: She Who Guides Us in Prayer 3

Queen of Angels: She Who Is Seated among the Angels 11

Queen of All Saints: She Who Companions the Mystics 17

Part II Hearing the Call

Virgin: She Who Is Whole unto Herself 25

Untier of Knots: She Who Loosens Constriction 31

Mustafia: She Who Is Chosen 37

Gate of Heaven: She Who Is the Portal 43

Hodegetria: She Who Shows the Way 49

Star of the Sea: She Who Helps Us Navigate 55

Morning Star: She Who Awakens the World 61

Seat of Wisdom: She Who Knows 67

Mother of Good Counsel: She Who Supports Our Discernment 73

Part III Incubation and Gestation

Vessel of Grace: She Who Is the Alchemical Container 81

Our Lady of Silence: She Who Calls Us to Listen to Another Voice 87

Mary of the Cell: She Who Retreats into Quiet 93

Our Lady of the Underworld: She Who Companions Our Descent 99

Mother of Sorrows: She Who Allows the River of Grief to Flow 105

Mary the Air We Breathe: She Who Infuses Our Every Breath 111

Mary as Burning Bush: She Who Stands on Holy Ground 115

Life-Giving Spring: She Who Gushes like a Fountain 119

Greenest Branch: She Who Brings Forth God's Greening Power 125

Part IV Birthing and Co-Creation

Woman Clothed with the Sun: She Who Is Woman of the Apocalypse 133

Theotokos: She Who Gave Birth to God 139

Mystical Rose: She Who Blossoms Forth 143

Madonna Protectress: She Who Creates a Boundary 149

Mirror of Justice: She Who Lifts Up All Those on the Margins 153

Queen of Heaven: She Who Claims Her Power 159

Queen of Peace: She Who Blesses Reconciliation 165

Cause of Our Joy: She Who Is the Source of Delight 169

Tree of Life: She Who Roots Down and Reaches Out 175


Mother of Mercy: She Who Lavishes Tenderness 181

Appendix: Marian Feast Days 185

Notes 187

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Keen insights and fresh perspective on the life and meaning of Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus.” —Fr. David L. Guffey, CSC, National Director, Family Theater Productions

“Even if you have known Mary all your life, you will encounter her afresh here in deeply nourishing and empowering ways. Drawing upon centuries of art, theology, and spiritual tradition, Christine Valters Paintner leads us into the sacred act of co-creation with God while Kreg Yingst’s beautiful block prints guide us in thoughtful contemplation of our Mother Mary, ever ancient, ever new.” —Cameron Bellm, author of A Consoling Embrace

“Every name for Mary, like every name for Christ, opens a window to another dimension of a mystery that will never be exhausted. We need a whole litany to even begin our pondering of Mary and the gift she is for us. Christine Valters Painter gives us just that in this richly textured retreat for the contemporary believer.” —Ann M. Garrido, associate professor of Homiletics, Aquinas Institute of Theology

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