Review: The Soul’s Slow Ripening

The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the SacredIn 2007, Christine Valters Painter and her husband, John, made their first visit to Ireland and in 2012, made the choice to move to Galway. There, this bestselling author of The Artist’s Rule and Illuminating the Way and online abbess of the Abbey of the Arts became immersed in Celtic spirituality. From that experience comes The Soul’s Slow Ripening. Here, Painter presents twelve Celtic practices, such as the practice of thresholds, soul friendship, and walking the bounds, to help the reader discern God’s invitation. Each practice is broken into sections: a discussion of the practice as a path of discernment, an appropriate Irish saint, a scriptural reflection, practices which include photographic and written explorations, and a closing blessing. For those who wish to delve deeper, Painter includes additional instruction on contemplative photography and lectio divinia and a list of Celtic Christian spiritual resources. For those looking for a fresh perspective to enliven their spiritual journey, The Soul’s Slow Ripening provides twelve, thought-provoking opportunities.

(Book received for free from Ave Maria Press in exchange for review.)

Great Quotes

From Christine Valters Paintner’s The Artist’s Rule:

“John Daido Loori, the author of The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life, writes: ‘The creative process, like a spiritual journey, is intuitive, non-linear, and experiential. It points us toward our essential nature, which is a reflection of the boundless creativity of the universe.’ Creativity and contemplative spirituality nurture and support each other in their commitments to slow the way, to a close attention to the inner life, and to the sacred being revealed in each moment. When I use the word ‘artist,” I include poets, writers, cooks, gardeners, and people who use all manner of creative expression; we are all called to be artists of everyday life.”

A paragraph later, Paintner writes:

“The transformation comes from engaging in the work, of practicing being present to the moment and what it has to teach you about yourself, your creative process, and God. Showing up each day with gentleness and compassion is the heart of the path.”