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HILDEGARD OF BINGEN: A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century Paperback – October 16, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I was thrilled to find an author who was willing to apply the wisdom of our historical church leaders for everyday reading.
Practical application of the wisdom from our Christian heritage was constantly on my mind as I completed course work
for a degree in a Masters Program in Christian Spirituality. How to communicate the truths I was finding to the non scholar
was a concern for me throughout as I wanted to share the valuable "lessons learned" with the church at large.
This book does an excellent job in applying Hildegard's insights for both the scholar and interested lay person wanting to learn
more about Spirituality and it's historical role in religion AND it's practical application for today!
In Matthew Fox, we have a friend of Hildegard, a friend of mystics, prophets, and thinkers. This newest book on Hildegard offers a creative view of the woman from 1000 years ago. Imagine a conversation between Hildegard and Einstein, Hildegard and poet Mary Oliver, Hildegard and Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Hildegard and the Curia. While reading this lively and clear description of the woman, her philosophy, her interests and her achievements, I wondered whether and how she might help me to enrich my own spirituality. Calling Hildegard a "Wild Woman" in the style of Clarissa Pinkola Estes was a striking image.
According to Fox, a prophet is one who interferes. A mystic is one who lives the mysteries. A fully-developed person is like a mosaic -an elegant interaction among music, art, thought, leadership, dance, discourse, preaching, letter-writing, in-your-face directives, gentle "as a feather on the breath of God." Kings, popes, abbots, and bishops sought Hildegard for advice, and she went ahead and confronted them whether they asked for help or not. A follower of Martin Luther called her "the first Protestant" because she knew the church needed reform.
As a writer, composer, philosopher, mystic, abbess, healer, artist, feminist, and student of science, Hildegard seemed to be ahead of her time. Hildegard was a wounded woman as well. She alluded to her suffering, which is, after all, the lot of humanity, but did not dwell on it. It appears that she put the painful experiences into the mix of her life ... something else to ponder, to sing about, to build up her courage, to keep her focus.
Finally, I love the author's suggestion that Hildegard had "greening power." The Holy Spirit is green and "we are like trees, she says, and the Holy Spirit is the capacity for juiciness, greenness, and moistness. The only sin is drying up."(Matthew Fox, Hildegard of Bingen, Namaste: Vancouver, 2012). I highly recommend this book to all, and particularly to people who are looking to awaken their spiritual journey.