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Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements
     

Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements

3.7 3
by Christine Valters Paintner
 

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Organized around "The Canticle of the Creatures" by St. Francis of Assisi, Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire is the first book to consider the ways in which praying with the natural elements can enliven Christian spiritual life. Teacher, artist, and Benedictine oblate Christine Valters Paintner offers concrete suggestions and guided contemplative exercises; for

Overview

Organized around "The Canticle of the Creatures" by St. Francis of Assisi, Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire is the first book to consider the ways in which praying with the natural elements can enliven Christian spiritual life. Teacher, artist, and Benedictine oblate Christine Valters Paintner offers concrete suggestions and guided contemplative exercises; for instance, she suggests that readers take time to "watch the sunrise or sunset and breathe in the beauty of the fiery sky. Contemplate what those beginnings and endings have to say in your own life." Readers benefit from Paintner's extensive training in theology and Benedictine spirituality, as well as her unique work in bringing the expressive arts to spiritual direction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a warm, personable manner, Paintner, a Benedictine oblate and spiritual director, invites the reader to engage creation as a sacred text by prayerfully exploring theological dimensions of the elements. Drawing on Celtic tradition, Paintner explores religious and cultural symbolism; for example, water’s associations with the direction west, the season autumn, and its physical forms and spiritual dimensions, such as tides, thirst, tears, baptism. Suggestions for reflection and action include the application of lectio divina, a practice of “sacred reading” typically used with scripture, to nature, encouraging the reader “to listen deeply for the stirring of the holy in sacred texts around us.” In each chapter, Paintner offers reflections on her prayer life during the book’s composition, demonstrating how she applied the spiritual practices she suggests (such as lighting a candle when contemplating “Fire”). Quotes from scripture, poets, essayists, and Christian mystics encourage the reader to seek divine revelation and comprehension of God’s love for all creation by “cultivating a contemplative relationship to nature.” Simple and powerful, this book will be a welcome new resource for individuals and groups seeking spiritual connection to creation. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Paintner (Awakening the Creative Spirit), a Benedictine oblate, here gives us a fresh and original treatment of Christian spirituality. The elements she speaks of—water, wind, earth, and fire—are of course not elements as contemporary science understand them, but Paintner's work is closer to poetry than science, as she reflects on the metaphorical powers of these old-style elements and selects poetry and prayers that engage them. Her chapters include ideas for reflection and prayer, as well as guides for lectiones divinae with each of the elements. VERDICT A lovely, brief book reconnecting Christian spirituality with the natural world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933495507
Publisher:
Ave Maria Press
Publication date:
03/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,126,417
File size:
394 KB

Meet 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 ten books on monasticism and creativity, including The Eyes of the Heart; Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire; The Artist’s Rule; The Soul of a Pilgrim; and Illuminating the Way. She leads pilgrimages in Ireland, Austria, and Germany and online retreats at her website, AbbeyoftheArts.com, living out her commitment as a Benedictine Oblate in Galway, Ireland, with her husband, John.

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Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Big clearing with a big round tree. Inside the tree is the Leaders den....but a branch is where I will speak. ~Deathstar
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The alpha wold growls as he sees Farrah. He crouche don barking as he chased the wolf out.