Hildegard was the tenth child of her family. She was tithed to the church and raised by the anchoress Jutta in a cottage near the church. Over time, she attracted other women to the monastic life. At 38, she became the abbess. She subsequently founded other women’s monasteries. Throughout her life Hildegard experienced stunning and dazzling spiritual visions. Hildegard became famous, eagerly sought for counsel, a correspondent to kings and queens, abbots and abbesses, archbishops and popes. In all her pursuits, Hildegard exercised a commanding spiritual authority based on her visions and considerable political astuteness. She came to understand her visions as a means of divine revelation
and began to write extensively about them. Her term for the grace of God inherent in all things was viriditas, or greenness, endearing her followers of creation spirituality today. Hildegard’s holistic approach to God and humanity is still relevant particularly to those longing for the wholeness and healing of all creation.
Prayer: God of all times and seasons: Give us grace that we, after the example of your servant Hildegard, may both know andmake known the joy and jubilation of being part of your creation, and show forth your Glory not only with our lips but in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.
Reflection on Hildegard’s vision and meditation: O Virtus Sapientiae (Antiphon for Divine Wisdom):
Hildegard’s many visions and her time spent in meditation and prayer as an anchorite led her to develop many creative gifts that included art, music composition, and herbal gardening and medicine.
What follows is a well-known piece of her spiritual writings, O Virtus Sapientiae, extolling the power and spiritual imagerywhere Spirit enlightens her life and reveals God’s Divine Wisdom.
O strength of Wisdom
Who, circling, circled
in one live-giving path;
Three wings you have:
One soars to the heights,
One distills its essence upon the earth.
And the third is everywhere
Praise to you, as is fitting,
As you read this, note the symbolism of the Trinity and its interface in Creation and human life.
Have you ever had visions and dreams that you perceived to be from God that gave you guidance in difficult situations? What spiritual gifts did you use to help? I have had many visions and dreams, especially in times of stress and trouble when God gaveme guidance and help to deal with the situation. For me the Spirit is more of a force or presence, which strengthens and comforts me. Do you have dreams and visions from God? What messages do you get? God’s Spirit is readily available to those who need guidance or comfort during times of stress and times of joy.