Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements  -     By: Christine Valters Paintner
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Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements

Sorin Books / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

Organized around "The Canticle of the Creatures" by St. Francis of Assisi, Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire is the first book to consider the ways in which praying with the natural elements can enliven Christian spiritual life.

Paintner offers concrete suggestions and guided contemplative exercises; for instance, Paintner suggests that readers take time to "watch the sunrise or sunset and breathe in the beauty of the fiery sky. Contemplate what those beginnings and endings have to say in your own life." Readers benefit from Paintner's extensive training in theology and Benedictine spirituality, as well as her unique work in bringing the expressive arts to spiritual direction.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Sorin Books
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1933495227
ISBN-13: 9781933495224

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Publisher's Weekly

In a warm, personable manner, Paintner, a Benedictine oblate and spiritual director, invites the reader to engage creation as a sacred text by prayerfully exploring theological dimensions of the elements. Drawing on Celtic tradition, Paintner explores religious and cultural symbolism; for example, water’s associations with the direction west, the season autumn, and its physical forms and spiritual dimensions, such as tides, thirst, tears, baptism. Suggestions for reflection and action include the application of lectio divina, a practice of “sacred reading” typically used with scripture, to nature, encouraging the reader “to listen deeply for the stirring of the holy in sacred texts around us.” In each chapter, Paintner offers reflections on her prayer life during the book’s composition, demonstrating how she applied the spiritual practices she suggests (such as lighting a candle when contemplating “Fire”). Quotes from scripture, poets, essayists, and Christian mystics encourage the reader to seek divine revelation and comprehension of God’s love for all creation by “cultivating a contemplative relationship to nature.” Simple and powerful, this book will be a welcome new resource for individuals and groups seeking spiritual connection to creation. (Mar.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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