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 is the author of eight books, a columnist at Patheos.com, and a retreat leader.
Paintner has led pilgrimages in Ireland, Austria, and Germany. Here she invites us to take an inner pilgrimage in our daily lives. What does she mean by this kind of journey?
"Pilgrimage calls us to be attentive to the divine at work in our lives through deep listening, patience, opening ourselves to the gifts that arise in the midst of discomfort, and going out to our own inner wild edges to explore new frontiers."
This paperback has been organized into eight sections:
• The Practice of Hearing the Call and Responding
• The Practice of Packing Lightly
• The Practice of Crossing the Threshold
• The Practice of Making the Way by Walking
• The Practice of Being Uncomfortable
• The Practice of Beginning Again
• The Practice of Embracing the Unknown
• The Practice of Coming Home
Each chapter presents commentary on these themes, a scripture story, a process of Lectio Divina, and creative expression through photography. Along the way, Paintner includes personal insights regarding a move overseas with her husband and eventually settling down in Galway, Ireland, where she is living out her commitment as a Benedictine Oblate.
At the end of the book she quotes the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore:
"Now it is time to sit quiet alone with You and to Sing a re-dedication of my life in this Silent and overflowing joy."
It a beautiful vision to imagine after finishing the book and any pilgrimage we might undertake.