Saturday, September 04, 2010

St. Hildegard of Bingen

Speaking of the medieval German mystic and her gifts, Pope Benedict noted:
This is, dear friends, the seal of an authentic experience of the Holy Spirit, source of every charism: The receiver of supernatural gifts never boasts, does not exhibit them and, above all, shows total obedience to ecclesial authority. Every gift distributed by the Holy Spirit, in fact, is destined for the edification of the Church, and the Church, through her pastors, recognises their authenticity. - Idle Speculations has the full text.
At one time, St. Hildegard was especially loved by New Age spiritual types.  I've always thought she could be a special patroness of binge drinkers - due to her title, von Bingen.  Did you know many medieval ascetics fasted on beer and bread?  And some think that a specific mold growing on the stale bread could have induced LSD type hallucinations, which might have been mistaken for mystical experiences.  (Or was it the beer?) 
Oh!  To have lived back then.


  1. Give it to me, baby: Oh yeah???!!
    Mold rocks!
    Beer really rocks!
    Jamesons' really rocks!
    Oh, yeah, mystical experiences...
    Okay, I'm just tryin' to "self-medicate" this atrocious chronic there a patron saint or a patron medical remedy??
    St. Hildegarde of Bingen...pray for us!(I'm only partially kidding!!)

  2. Oh, and as an addendum:
    The dissident Sisters LOVED St. Hildegarde...who knows
    She was COMPLETELY in love with comparison with the former...they just love SATAN and themselves (did I really say that?...yeah, I did...I know from unfortunate personal experience)...
    nevertheless, this is not about ME...
    I've heard endless talks about "creating the Reality within"...the "Spirit informs us of our own true being"..."Eucharist (notice no "the"...very strange...empowers us to "BE" women with our gifts and entitlements"...Pardon me, I actually ate dinner and I'm about ready to RALF........FFFF!
    Mystical experiences among this bunch?'
    Call Father E. pronto!
    More like the need for an exorcism!

  3. The New Age wackos take a few things she said & did out of context &/or mistranslate her writings & rely on the ignorance of most people about what she really believed to misuse her for their agenda.
    But then they have also tried to turn St. Francis into a hippie peacenik.

  4. Many thanks for the link. Love the picture

    @Al: Unfortunately you are right about some "New Age Wackos" and their mistranslations and misinterpretations to suit their agendas.

    St Hildegard was after all revered by quite a number of Popes. Her "orthodoxy" and fidelity to the Holy See have never been questioned.

  5. Terry - sorry I messed the link up with my comedy and mixing it up with the new age references - your post is excellent on Hildegard and I may read more of her. I honestly avoided her in the past because of the New Age connections. I also thought I had enough of women mystics after Julian of Norwich and Marge Kemp. I was content to meditate over and over my Franciscan penitents - Angela of Foligno and Margaret of Cortona.

  6. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Is Julian of Norwich safe to read?

    I only know of the famous "all will be well..." quote.

  7. Hildegarde had migraine headaches. As a consequence, she experienced what are referred to as scinitlating scotomas. They are difficult to describe--fluid, colored designs appear before one's eyes. I had migraines for many years also had scotomas. She drew these scotomoas which she believed were "visions". Medical schools still use these drawings/paintings of hers to instruct Ophthamologist on the nature of scintilating scotomas. Don't you just love the Cathlic church?

  8. Yes - Julian of Norwich is good to read.

  9. It was probably rye bread. The mold can cause LSD hallucinations, if it doesn't kill you, that is.

    I wonder if Mohammed was eating rye when he "saw" the Archangel Gabriel who gave him his "revelations" of the quran...I need to look into that.


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