|Pen and Ink Reflections
Today I want to introduce you to one of the most notable mystics and teachers of my Christian tradition, Hildegard of Bingen. Hildegard lived in the twelfth century in Germany and for many years her work was forgotten, returning to prominence only in the late twentieth century. She was not only a woman of prayer and vision, but also a composer, artist, theologian and herbalist,whose approaches to cosmology, medicine and music have many resonances in our own day. She is rightly regarded as one of Germany's first scientists and doctors and her 2000 herbal remedies are still being studied today. She has also left us 77 unique musical compositions that reveal her as the first female composer of note and a remarkable collection of art works...
by Penny Jones for Advent 2 year B
It gave me great joy yesterday to see everything so green after the rain. I am sure we are all taking delight in the clean fresh scent and the signs of new life. It would not be too fanciful I think to say that our bit of the world has been ‘baptised’ over the last few days.
The great medieval Christian mystic Hildegaard of Bingen coined a particular word for such ‘greening ‘ of the earth. She called it ‘veriditas’, from the Latin word for green. For her it best described the first shoots of green leaves poking through the white snow after a long winter in her native Europe. It was the sign of new life. And so too for us, as rain restores life to our parched land we see fresh potential for life in the renewed greenness of our land.
When we think about baptism and the ministry of John the Baptist which we recall today, veriditas, the ‘greening’, is a good picture to have in our minds. It is a picture that works at many levels. It describes the ‘greening’ of the outer world, the created order on which we rely for daily life. It describes the ‘greening’ of our inner world, the work of God in our individual souls. And it describes as well the transformative work of the Holy Spirit within our society and wider political systems...