Bless the World With Your Eyes by Christine Valters Paintner

Mary Ann Matthys- Artist, Color of Woman Teacher, Intentional Creativity Coach.

Bless the World With Your Eyes by Christine Valters Paintner

eyes-of-the-heart

 

 

I am so happy to welcome Christine Valters Paintner to Consecrate the Day!  Christine’s website Abbey of the Arts, Transformative living through Contemplative and Expressive Arts offers wonderful resources, inspiration and sustenance for my personal Spiritual Journey.   Christine’s books and online retreats offer invitations to deeper paths of communion and connection with God.  Christine’s latest book, Eyes of the Heart, Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice explores a way of seeing that goes beyond the superficial, straight to the heart and soul.  I invite you to consider saying “yes” to the invitations within Christine’s blog today…

 

Bless the World with Your Eyes

 

I resonate deeply with Mary Ann’s invitation in her blog to focus on consecrating the day. It inspires me to consider how might photography become a way to consecrate the day to God?

 

I am reminded of the beautiful Jewish practice of blessing the day.  In this worldview, each act becomes worthy of blessing. Gratitude is offered for the gift of every moment – upon awakening, when crossing a threshold, eating a meal, lighting candles. The Talmud calls for 100 blessings each day.

 

This act of blessing is really a special way of paying attention. It is a moment of remembering wonder as our primary response to the world. It is an act of consecrating the day.

Photography is an especially accessible art medium in our modern world, where almost everyone carries a camera built into their phone, or small, portable cameras with good picture quality are widely available.  In my book, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice, I suggest ways to engage your camera as a tool for prayer and way to cultivate a different way of seeing the world.  Eyes of the heart refers to a kind of graced vision, that is focused more on receiving gifts, than “taking” photos.  Seeing in this way is different from our ordinary way of scanning our field of vision for the information we want to find.  Instead, it is a spacious gaze which savors each moment.

 

In the Benedictine monastic tradition, everything is considered sacred.  The stranger at the door is to be welcomed in as Christ.  The kitchen utensils are to be treated just like the altar vessels.  The hinges of the day call us to remember the presence of God again and again, so that time becomes a cascade of prayers.

 

So what if I imagine my eyes as a vessel of blessing?  What if I moved through the day, and each time I felt drawn to take out my camera, I paused before pushing the button and consecrated what I was gazing upon?

 

Perhaps I might even say a short prayer: “Bless this shimmering moment, may my eyes receive its gifts, may my heart open ever wider in response.”  You might craft your own holy words.

 

In this way, our photography can become an act of deepened awareness and love.  We can begin to see all the everyday things of our lives as openings into the depth dimension of the world.  The steam rising from my coffee, the bird singing from a tree branch outside my window, the doorbell announcing a friend’s arrival, the meal which nourishes my body for service.  Each of these moments invites us to pause and to see it through a different kind of vision.

 

Consecrate the day with your camera.  Bless the world with your eyes.  Offer gratitude for every ordinary gift.

 

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, is the online Abbess at Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery and community for contemplative practice and creative expression.  She is the author of 7 books on art and monasticism, including her latest, Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice (Ave Maria Press). Christine currently lives out her commitment as a monk in the world with her husband in Galway, Ireland.

 

 

 

 

Christine Valters Paintner, OblSB, PhD, REACE

www.AbbeyoftheArts.com

Transformative living through contemplative & expressive arts

 

{Subscribe to receive regular Abbey Soul Nourishment straight to your in-box}

{Sign the Monk Monifesto, watch the Monk in the World Visual Meditation, take a f*ree e-course, or listen to f*ree podcasts}

 

 

Christine is the author of 7 soulful books on monastic spirituality and creative expression:

 

Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice (Ave Maria – coming spring 2013!)

Desert Fathers and Mothers: Early Christian Wisdom Sayings (SkyLight Paths)

The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom (Ave Maria Press)

Lectio Divina – The Sacred Art: Transforming Words & Images into Heart-Centered Prayer  (SkyLight Paths)

Water, Wind, Earth, & Fire: The Christian Spiritual Practice of Praying with the Elements (Ave Maria Press)

Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction (Morehouse) with Betsey Beckman

Lectio Divina: Contemplative Awakening & Awareness (Paulist Press) with Lucy Wynkoop, OSB

 

14 Comments

  1. Virtual Book Tour: Guest post at Consecrate the Day – Bless the World with Your Eyes « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Guest post at Consecrate the Day – Bless the World with Your Eyes « Abbey of the Arts05-02-2013

    […] am happy to share another guest post today for our Virtual Book Tour. Today's subject is "Bless the World with Your Eyes" at the lovely blog Consecrate the Day by Mary Ann […]

  2. Virtual Book Tour: Review At Sense of the Faithful « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Review At Sense of the Faithful « Abbey of the Arts05-07-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  3. Virtual Book Tour: Review at A Photographic Sage « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Review at A Photographic Sage « Abbey of the Arts05-09-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  4. Virtual Book Tour: Book Review at GodSpace by Christine Sine « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Book Review at GodSpace by Christine Sine « Abbey of the Arts05-13-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  5. Virtual Book Tour: Guest Post at A Photographic Sage – Quieting the Mind through Contemplative Photography « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Guest Post at A Photographic Sage – Quieting the Mind through Contemplative Photography « Abbey of the Arts05-16-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  6. Virtual Book Tour: Interview at Always We Begin Again « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Interview at Always We Begin Again « Abbey of the Arts05-17-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  7. Virtual Book Tour: Guest Post at June Mears Driedger – "Tending the Moments" « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Guest Post at June Mears Driedger – "Tending the Moments" « Abbey of the Arts05-21-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  8. Virtual Book Tour: Interview at Faith Squared « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Interview at Faith Squared « Abbey of the Arts05-22-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  9. Virtual Book Tour: Book Review at Provoking Beauty by Leanne Shawler « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Book Review at Provoking Beauty by Leanne Shawler « Abbey of the Arts05-23-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  10. Virtual Blog Tour: Interview (Audio!) at Sacred Life Arts « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Blog Tour: Interview (Audio!) at Sacred Life Arts « Abbey of the Arts05-26-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  11. Virtual Book Tour: Review a Shot at Ten Paces by Kate Kennington Steer « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Review a Shot at Ten Paces by Kate Kennington Steer « Abbey of the Arts05-27-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  12. Virtual Book Tour: Interview at Idealawg with Stephanie West Allen « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Interview at Idealawg with Stephanie West Allen « Abbey of the Arts05-28-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  13. Virtual Book Tour: Review at Profoundly Superficial by Annie Wright « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Review at Profoundly Superficial by Annie Wright « Abbey of the Arts05-29-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

  14. Virtual Book Tour: Review at Find Hope « Abbey of the Arts
    Virtual Book Tour: Review at Find Hope « Abbey of the Arts05-30-2013

    […] "Bless the World with Your Eyes" Guest post by Christine at Consecrate the Day […]

Sign Up for My Newsletter and Receive My Free Email Gift: "7 Ways to Consecrate the Day"

You have Successfully Subscribed!