“O, You who are ever giving life to all life, moving all creatures, root of all things, washing them clean, wiping out their mistakes, healing their wounds, You are our true life, luminous, wonderful, awakening the heart from its ancient sleep.” ~ Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard has been called one of the most important women of her age, and described as the “Sibyl of the Rhine” for her wisdom, and influential writings. She was born in 1098, but has been rediscovered in the last 40 years, and a flurry of books, articles and films have generated a passionate group of admirers for this German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. Hildegard seems almost contemporary in her thinking, and is a fore-mother of eco-spirituality. Her music and art have inspired wide audiences, and her spiritual writings are uplifting, challenging and deeply comforting all at once. She was no stranger to controversy, and like her contemporary, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hildegard was a woman of substance. She traveled, corresponded with great leaders, theologians and thinkers of her time, founded monasteries, suffered terrible headaches and illness, and came through it all with a graceful reliance on God. Hildegard was an unflagging advocate for every human person to develop their God-given talents. She spoke her mind, and did not hold back because she was a woman, not even drawing back from rebuking the pope, and the emperor when she felt that it was needed. We will dip into her fresh and nearly modern writings, explore her positive spirituality which focused on the “greening” of the soul, and have quiet time to rest and reflect. Imagine the refreshment of spirit to be gained from spending a retreat with Hildegard, who said “The earth of humankind contains all moisture, all verdancy, all germinating power. It is in so many ways fruitful.” Together we will hope to participate in the fruitfulness of this extraordinary woman.