Archives For Christine Valters Paintner

 


Thin Places
 
A Review of 

Dreaming of Stones: Poems
Christine Valters Paintner

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2019
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Hearts & Minds Books ]

 
Reviewed by Michial Farmer
 
 
Midway through Dreaming of Stones, her new collection of poems, Christine Valters Paintner writes that her mission as a writer and a human being is to remember “the wonder that there is anything, / much less bluebells and fresh bread, / the way world are encapsulated / in drops of dew” (“In Praise of Forgetting,” ll. 23-26). As far as aesthetic mission statements go, you could do a lot worse—especially for a poet like Paintner, whose poems skate the line between physical and metaphysical, between ordinary and sacramental. Though she doesn’t say so directly, Paintner’s poetics demonstrate Simone Weil’s famous observation that attention is a form of prayer. Perhaps all good poetry does that, but Paintner seems particularly cognizant of it.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1932057102″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/51kCwj1UAZL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”222″]Into Thin Places
 
A review of
 

The Soul’s Slow Ripening:
12 Celtic Practices
for Seeking the Sacred
Christine Valters Paintner

Paperback: Sorin Books, 2018
Buy Now:  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”1932057102″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B07CYLGMRC” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]
 
Reviewed by Sam Edgin
 
 
Spirituality is a buzzword. It’s a bonus dimension to our personal brands; a step on the journey of total heath, tracked by our Apple Watches and dribbled out on our Instagram Stories between pictures of dogs and gym routines. It comes in an endless number of traditions and practices and we mash them together and throw them out like play-doh in the hands of so many two year-olds. It is a new-health commodity, to be traded and marketed, and dealt to the cash-waving masses. We love it, and we preach it, and we sell it to our friends. Pick and pay for the ones that are right for you, oh seeker, enlightenment awaits!

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I have recently written three brief reviews for other websites…
(Read the reviews below, in my order of preference for the books)

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”1933495545″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518QbWX1M5L._SL160_.jpg” width=”106″ alt=”brief reviews” ][easyazon-link asin=”1933495545″ locale=”us”]Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice[/easyazon-link]
Christine Paintner
Paperback: Ave Maria Press, 2013.

 

Reviewed for the Slow Church blog…

One of the key facets of what John and I are calling Slow Church is the idea that creation operates as a gift economy: i.e., that all life is created and sustained by God.  Our call as humans is to live gratefully within the broader economy of creation.  Part of a life of gratitude is the living of a receptive life, in which we are wondrously attentive to the abundant gifts of God that surround us at any given moment.

The challenge to living such a life, however, is that we all too often are formed into the pattern of industrial Western culture that is moving ever faster, and in which attentiveness is rapidly becoming a lost art, as Maggie Jackson has chronicled in her recent and superb book Distracted.  However, humanity is not lost, we are still capable of reversing this trend and re-training our attention.  There are many arts, crafts and even hobbies (e.g., birdwatching, as Phil Kenneson has pointedly argued in a recent talk on Slow Church) that can train us to be more attentive.  It is in this context, that I found Christine Valters Paintner’s new book, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice.  I was familiar with Paintner’s work, and had even reviewed her recent book on Lectio Divina.

I was therefore not surprised that Eyes of the Heart is a profoundly helpful resource in helping us to recover the lost art of attention, and will certainly be of interest to readers who are interested in photography (or those who might eventually become so; although with the smartphone explosion over the last few years, practically everyone has easy access to a decent camera, and is a photographer at some level).

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