Thank you, NetGalley, Ave Maria Press, and Christine Valters Paintner, for the ARC of Sacred Time, Embracing an Intentional Way of Life. I am a fan of Paintner and follow her work on Facebook. I have read many of her books and I am always grateful for her wisdom and insight. This new book did not disappoint. Paintner follows a consistent and intuitive formula with her writing and how she organizes each chapter. This approach turns the reading of the text into a personal retreat. I have never read her books quickly; her words and content best read with a slow, intentional pace. You will want to linger and re-read her sentences. You will take the time to let her insights settle into your thoughts and your soul.
In this current book, Paintner takes on the topic of time, how we view it, and spend it. In our fast-paced world, we can all agree on one thing, we feel like we run short on time, and if only there were an extra 4 hours a day, right? I am someone who has always battled a very linear approach to pacing time. In this book, Paintner challenged me to consider time as sacred, “Sacred time is time governed by the rhythms of creation, rhythms that incorporate times of rest as essential to our own unfolding. Sacred time is time spent being present to the moments of eternity available to us whenever we choose to pause and breathe.” As someone who has battled with the notion that I can control time, this book was a much-needed opportunity to step back and reframe.
Paintner organized the chapters of her book by:
– rhythms of the day
– weekly rhythms and Sabbath rest
– waxing and waning lunar cycles
– seasons of the year
– seasons of a lifetime
– ancestral time
– cosmic time
Each chapter is organized into sections that include: Paintner’s reflection on the theme, a scripture reflection, an experiential exploration through meditation and creative practice (my personal favorite), and the chapter ends with a poem related to that aspect of time.
Within each chapter she also includes wisdom from saints, including St Ignatius of Loyola, St Hildegard of Bingen (a personal favorite of mine), and St Benedict. Each section of this book is an invitation to explore spiritual and creative practices to deepen our understanding of sacred time and use this information to create and embrace a life that is intentional and moves us away from the pressures of each day.