The Soul's Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred

The Soul's Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred

by Christine Valters Paintner


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What does God want for your life?

Christine Valters Paintner, bestselling Catholic author and online abbess for Abbey of the Arts, uses reflections, stories, guided activities, prayer experiences, and a variety of creative arts to help you patiently and attentively listen to God’s invitation.

Everyone wants to understand God’s will for their lives. Christine Valters Paintner shares one of the most ancient paths to understanding from her study of monasticism and immersion into Celtic spirituality while living in Ireland. The Celtic way, which Paintner distills into twelve practices, offers discernment that focuses on the environment rather than the intellectual focus present in other forms of discernment. It allows for what Paintner calls the “soul’s slow ripening,” coming into the fullness of our own sweetness before we pluck the fruit.

Each chapter begins with a story of a particular Irish saint—some well-known like Patrick or Brigid, others less so, such as Ita and Ciaran—and then introduces a helpful practice for discernment that the saint’s life illustrates. Paintner explores the call of dreams, the importance of thresholds, the practice of peregrination (wandering for the love of God), walking the rounds, learning by heart, soul friends, blessing each moment, and the wisdom of the landscape and the seasons. Readers are invited to explore these concepts through photography and writing. She invites us to contemplative walks with specific themes along with poetic writing prompts for expression.

As you explore an alternate way of discerning a spiritual path—one which honors the moment-by-moment invitations and the soul’s seasonal rhythms—you will discover that this book will help you become more aligned with creativity and wholeness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932057102
Publisher: Ave Maria Press
Publication date: 09/07/2018
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 138,991
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (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.

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 The practice of Thresholds 1

2 The practice of Dreaming 13

3 The practice of peregrinatio and seeking Tour place of Resurrection 25

4 The practice of Blessing Each Moment 39

5 The practice of soul friendship 53

6 The practice of Encircling 69

7 The practice of walking the Rounds 81

8 The practice of Learning by Heart 93

9 The practice of solitude and silence 105

10 The practice of seasonal cycles 119

11 The practice of Landscape as Theophany 133

12 The practices of three Essential Things 143

Conclusion 155

Acknowledgments 157

Appendix 1 Contemplative photography and Lectio Divina 159

Appendix 2 Resources in Celtic Christian spirituality 163

Notes 165

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