Popular author of eight books and abbess of the online retreat center Abbey of the Arts, Christine Valters Paintner explores how the lives and spirituality of twelve monks and mystics offer distinct patterns of thought that will lead you to a deeper understanding of your strengths and areas of growth and will guide you on the path to your true spiritual identity.
In Illuminating the Way, Christine Valters Paintner takes you on a journey through your inner life accompanied by twelve great monks and mystics from the Christian tradition. Each figure invites you to discover the energy and potential of a particular archetype—the inner sage in Benedict; the inner visionary in Hildegard of Bingen; and the inner orphan in Dorothy Day. From the prophet Miriam of the Hebrew scriptures to twentieth century monk Thomas Merton, Paintner offers an array of challenging and enlivening models to explore.
Paintner is beloved by readers for her creative practices, guided meditations, and beautiful prayers and poems, and she has included all of these elements in her new book to further explore the image associated with each mystic. Her insightful reflections on key selections of each mystic’s writings will help you gain greater self-knowledge and experience a deeper encounter with God.
Christine Valters Painter
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 eight books on monasticism and creativity, including The Eyes of the Heart; Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire; The Artist’s Rule; and The Soul of a Pilgrim. She is a columnist for the progressive Christian portal at Patheos. 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.
In this creative work, Christine Valters Paintner offers us a pilgrimage through the lives of sages, healers, mystics, visionaries, and more—inviting us to feast on their wisdom and explore how their gift of life can illuminate the way for us. This is a wonderful resource and I joyfully recommend it.
- Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B., author of Seven Sacred Pauses
Illuminating the Way combines meditation, poetry, art, and more to reveal the singing heart of our tradition’s great wisdom keepers. Jesus has been called the Lord of the Dance—this sumptuous book calls us to join the circle.
- Carl McColman, author of Befriending Silence
Illuminating the Way generously offers myriad pathways to discover and explore the multiple selves that dwell within each of us. It’s a book that will expand you, a real treasure that you will return to again and again.
- Colette Lafia, author of Seeking Surrender
Christine Valters Paintner creates a vibrant green path—a path I love to walk. In Illuminating the Way, she invites saints and mystics to join us on that path. The Hebrew prophet Miriam, the Celtic monk Brendan, and contemporary writers like Rainer Maria Rilke and Thomas Merton—along with eight others—step out of their books, walk beside us, and do, indeed, illumine the path.
- Janet Conner, author of Writing Down Your Soul