ILLUMINATING THE WAY
Embracing the Wisdom of Monks and Mystics
Christine Valters Paintner, Sorin Books Softcover $17.95 (225pp), 978-1-933495-93-4
Christine Valters Paintner, Abbess of the “virtual monastery” Abbeyofthearts.com, and author of eight books, explores the Christian spiritual path through the stories of twelve monks and mystics, ancient and modern. Each story illustrates the energies of a particular archetype and invites us to consider how the biblical injunction to welcome the stranger could equally be applied to welcoming the parts of ourselves that we try so hard to hide and repress.
Included are vignettes of Francis of Assisi, the “Fool” who invites us into “an upside-down world governed by love”; King David, who calls us to claim our inner “Sovereign” and rule as our true self; Benedict of Nursia, the “Sage” whose wisdom reveals each moment as shimmering with sacred light; Mary, the “Mother” whose love carries us through birth and death; Dorothy Day, whose work on behalf of the outcast and poor calls us to welcome and comfort our inner “Orphan”; Rainer Maria Rilke, the poet who inspires our inner “Artist” to create beauty from all that we are given; Thomas Merton, whose seeking of God in silence and solitude helps us awaken our own inner “Monk”; and more.
Paintner’s book is rich with colorful paintings, creative exercises, commentaries, scriptural meditations, mandala coloring pages, a CD of special music, and a prayerful-movement DVD to inspire exploration of the multiple ways in which the sacred can speak to us through the arts.