August 23 Sunday Service: Hildegard of Bingen

Oh, it is so good to be back! I want to thank Kim Cowperthwaite for doing a wonderful job platforming both Sundays. A shout out to Rosie Deer Heart and Matt Purinton for sharing the messages. Christine Wolf for facilitating the Coffee Hour, Chris Purinton for handling the AV and of course Deana Gurney, who provides just the right music every week to enhance the message. I am blessed to have such a strong team to support me.

If you haven’t noticed, we have some strong women in 2020 that are making their voices heard both locally and nationally. The woman who I talked about on Sunday called women out in the 1100s. It was Hildegard von Bingen. She said, “We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.”

There is a lot written about this amazing woman who in 2012 was canonized and named Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI. Where does one begin describing Hildegard? On Sunday I gave a snippet of the many contributions that she made to the world.

Although an artist, composer, author, pharmacist, among her accomplishments what she is most known for was her visions… she had numerous prophetic and mystical visions during her life and is said to have been a miracle worker.

She writes in her first book Scivias (Know the Ways), “When I was forty-two years and seven months old, Heaven was opened and a fiery light of exceeding brilliance came and permeated my whole brain, and inflamed my whole heart and my whole breast, not like a burning but like a warming flame, as the sun warms anything its rays touch.”

In another writing from Scivias, “And behold, in the forty-third year of my passing course, while I was intent upon a heavenly vision with great fear and tremulous effort, I saw a great splendor, in which a voice came from heaven saying to me: ‘O weak mortal, both ash of ash and rottenness of rottenness, say and write what you see and hear. But because you are fearful in speaking and simple in explaining and unlearned in writing these things, say and write them not according to human speech nor the understanding of human creativity… speak the things you see and hear; and write them not according to yourself or any other person, but according to the will of the One Who knows, sees, and disposes all things in the hidden places of his mysteries.”

As Hildegard scholar Renata Craine notes, “As a woman graced by God and called to speak out, Hildegard gives us new and very feminine images of the God-reality, like the visionary image of the “cosmos resting in the womb of God. She expanded woman’s capacity to nourish new life in her womb into the great all-embracing depth of a theological truth that we came from the heart of God and that the earth is the womb of our becoming whole, of and with each other in god.”

I encourage you to search out Hildegard’s poetry or music. Learn more about this amazing Saint.

Next Sunday join me as we learn more about Julian of Norwich. We will also have special music from our good friend Julie Love Thompson.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

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