A few months ago I realized I wanted to learn more about the mystics of the Middle Ages (well, pre and post Middle Ages as well). I realized that the only parts of church history I am aware of, or writings of church fathers, are centralized around the men of the past. And for myself, I wanted to change that. I wanted to be able to honor those that came before me, and try and find more of the lesser known authors of the church (like the true christian millennial hipster I am).
In this search, I found out about Hildegard of Bingen, someone who is rather famous but also a person I knew next to nothing about. So naturally, I tried to find copies of her books and came across Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook. In her book, Hildegared of Bingen: Essential Writings and Chants of a Christian Mystic- Annotated & Explained, Dr. Kujawa-Holbrook walks through Hildegard’s letter, essays, songs, etc. and puts them in great context for who she was talking to and what was happening at the time. I cannot recommend this book enough so please purchase it here, or request it at your local brick and mortar book shop.
So, since I am reading through this, I’ve decided I’m going to spend Thursdays through the rest of 2019 to post some of Hildegard’s writings with you all. Maybe I’ll share a few thoughts, maybe I won’t, who knows. So here we go:
The Living Light therefore speaks with the secret word of Wisdom: God is full and whole and beyond the beginning of time, and therefore he cannot be divided or analyzed by words as a human being can. God is a whole and nothing other than a whole, to which nothing can be added and from which nothing can be taken away. For He-who-is is both paternity and divinity, since it is said, “I am who I am.” And He-who-is is fullness itself. How is this to be understood? By his activity, creativity, and perfection.
– Hildegard of Bingen in her letter to Odo of Soissons in 1148