Christine Valters Paintner: Wild Silence and the Cloister of the Earth (Part One)

Christine Valters Paintner is the online abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery offering programs and resources on contemplative practice and creative expression. She is the author of thirteen books on monasticism and creativity, including her most recent Earth, Our Original Monastery and her second collection of poems forthcoming this fall, The Wisdom of Wild Grace.

This is part one of a two part episode. To listen to part two, click here.

Earth is the place where we learn our most fundamental prayers, hear the call of the wild arising at dawn to awaken us to a new day, participate in the primal liturgy of praise unfolding all around us, and experience the wisdom and guidance of the seasons. — Christine Valters Paintner, Earth: Our Original Monastery

She leads writing retreats and pilgrimages in Ireland, Scotland, 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.

Christine returns to Encountering Silence (click here to listen to her previous interview with us, from 2018) bringing her warm, wise and inclusive spirituality which encompasses deep contemplation with an inspiring commitment to creative expression.

Everything in creation becomes a catalyst for my deepened self-understanding. The forest asks me to embrace my truth once again. The hummingbird invites me to sip holy nectar, the egret to stretch out my wings, the sparrows to remember my flock. Each pine cone contains an epiphany; each smooth stone offers a revelation. I watch and witness as the sun slowly makes her long arc across the sky and discover my own rising and falling. The moon will sing of quiet miracles, like those which reveal and conceal the world every day right before our eyes.  — Christine Valters Paintner, Earth: Our Original Monastery

Some of the Resources and Authors We Mention In This Episode:

Episode 94: Wild Silence and the Cloister of the Earth: A Conversation with Christine Valters Paintner (Part One)
Hosted by: Carl McColman
With: Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson
Date Recorded: March 30, 2020

Featured photo credit: Kilmacduagh Monastery photograph by Carl McColman, copyright 2002.

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Carl McColman
Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.