Yum!? I love accessible books about mystics – especially women mystics.? And this is one of the best.? Hildegard of Bingen – a spiritual reader, by Carmen Acevedo Butcher, was published in 2007, by a Catholic publishing house, but using quotes from the United Church of Christ’s version of the Bible.? That alone made me happy, since I don’t trust the Catholic Church to treat women fairly, especially powerful women who are spiritual leaders.
Hildegard lived in the 11th century, lived to be 87, wrote admonishing letters to popes and other guys, including dukes, etc; traveled to preach sermons all around the Rhine River valley; had visions beginning in her early childhood, which Spirit asked her to draw and to write about (Matthew Fox has done a splendid book on that work – part of why he was excommunicated); founded and ran several convents; wrote many books; and was a political consultant to all manner of folk.
A lot to do in one lifetime!? She’s a great role model.? I’d call her also a great psychic and gifted healer, and though she might question herself, she did not question her gifts.? When she wrote and when she spoke, she was sure footed and very confident – because the Living Light / God / Spirit had given her the information.
Women mystics, as with women in general, all seem to be multitaskers.? They are not kneeling all day in quiet while someone takes care of their needs.? They are taking care of everyone else all the while they are in contact with All That Is, communing with Spirit while they are talking and listening to the many.
If you want to know more about Hildegard, this book will give you her words, her songs, her prayers, her letters – her life – better than any other.