June 21, 2024

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Birthing the Holy by Christine Valters Paintner | E-Course

A three-hour mini-retreat will be held during Advent to bring you the wisdom of Mary, and the Sacred Feminine in this season of growing darkness. Advent is a journey in which we each hear a call, wait, and then welcome the holy child into our midst.

We will focus our attention on three aspects or names of Mary that invite us into our own response, incubating, birthing and nurturing of our dreams.

Virgin icon of Mary by Kreg Yingst We start with Mary as Virgin. We will examine the archetype Virgin as one that has more in common with our totality than it does with our physical intactness. Mary was called and had full authority to say yes or not to the divine. We are empowered to choose the direction of our lives by embracing the Virgin within us when we embrace her.

Our Lady of the Underworld icon by Kreg Yingst Once we hear a call that ignites our sacred yes, we enter a period of waiting and gestating, incubating, allowing, slow unfolding. If we rush the process of growth, we run the risk of preventing our dream from achieving its full potential. Mary of the Underworld is with us during this time. She reminds us that this time is about being more than doing, and of resting in the darkness rather than seeking the light.

Mystical Rose icon by Kreg Yingst The holy is finally born when the fruit is fully ripe. Angelus Silesius and Meister Eckhart, Medieval Franciscan monks, saw the journey towards Christmas as intimate and archetypal. Each one of us is called by God to give our gifts to the world. Christmas only becomes meaningful when everyone participates in the holy birthing in their lives. Mary the Mystical rose will assist us in our labors until our new creation is fully unfolded in front of our eyes.

Our three-hour retreat will take place on Saturday, December 4, from 9 am – 12 pm Pacific, 12 noon – 3 Eastern, and 5 – 8 pm Ireland.

Gather with us as we take a holy pause in this season of frenzy and rushing. You can make a commitment to slow down, listen, and to allow the form of what is ripening within to unfold into fullness. Meditation will be a part of our time together. visio divinaSong, gentle movement, writing explorations and small and large group sharing are all ways to allow our bodies to speak clearly about the season in which they are. Mary will be our companion in all her forms, encouraging us and calling us to the fullness of who she is.

Christine Valters Paintner is the online Abbess of Abbey of the Arts. This virtual monastery and community combines contemplative practice with creative expression. She is the author or 18 books on spirituality, poetry, and the arts. The Birthing of the HolyAve Maria Press, Spring 2022. The book will include 29 icons by Kreg Yingst, including the Mary icons shown here. Christine lives on the wild fringes of Ireland, with John and Sourney.