Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire: The Christian Practice of Praying with the Elements

Christine Valters Paintner, Author . Ave Maria/Sorin $14.95 (149p) ISBN 978-1-933495-22-4

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.)

Reviewed on: 02/08/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 160 pages - 978-1-933495-50-7
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