|An excerpt from Bishop Lynne’s letter to the diocese in the Kootenay Contact October 27, 2021: |
On the weekend I led a retreat at Sorrento Centre using Hildegard of Bingen as our guide for spiritual sustenance. The reason I chose this twelfth century mystic, a Benedictine Abbess and “Doctor of the Church”, is that she embodies a life-giving spirituality and relationship with Creation and Creator that is inspiring for our time. Bold and feisty, an activist who wrote to popes and princes to address issues of peace, social justice and reform of the Church, an artist who composed symphonies, a botanist, herbalist and medical practitioner, she saw Creation and our Bodies as good gifts of God to be treasured and kept well. Hildegard saw human beings as co-Creators with God, with a vocation to care for other creatures and the Earth. She calls us into a joyous relationship with the Earth, a falling in love with Earth that undergirds our call to care for this gift of God. Hildegard experienced the feminine nature of God. She spoke of Viriditas, the greening power or creative life force in all things. A few quotes from Hildegard for your meditation:
Don’t let yourself forget that God’s grace rewards not only those who never slip, but also those who bend and fall. So sing! The song of rejoicing softens hard hearts. It makes tears of godly sorrow flow from them. Singing summons the Holy Spirit. Happy praises offered in simplicity and love lead the faithful to complete harmony, without discord. Don’t stop singing. ****** The mystery of God hugs you in its all-encompassing arms. *****
Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.
***** We shall awaken from our dullness and rise vigorously toward justice. If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper, we will respond to its endangerment with passion. ***** Even in a world that’s being shipwrecked, remain brave and strong. ***** The marvels of God are not brought forth from one’s self. Rather, it is more like a chord, a sound that is played. The tone does not come out of the chord itself, but rather, through the touch of the musician. I am, of course, the lyre and harp of God’s kindness. ***** Every creature is a glittering, glistening mirror of Divinity****
God be praised in God’s handiwork: Humankind.
Full of all creative possibilities,
Is God’s work.
Humanity is called to assist God.
Humanity is called to co-create.
**** May Hildegard’s words strengthen you in your high calling of assisting God in the care of Creation.
Yours in Christ,