Thursday, February 4, 2016

Catholic Hermit: People Who Inspire

They may not live in our neighborhoods or even in our lifetimes, but those who are within His Real Presence, relating within His abode in our souls, find souls who inspire.

One such soul belongs to a woman who lived on earth from 1198-1279.  This soul was a female in gender, and she was and is known to humankind by the name of Hildegard of Bingen.  In her earthly name, we gain her earthly location--as was customary in that century to give locale of birth along with one's name.

A young spiritual friend who calls herself at times this hermit's spiritual daughter, suggested we next read a book about this soul named Hildegard.  Given the fact that many in the movement currently termed "new age" have gummed onto Hildegard and somewhat skewed her soul's message and mission, we settled on the edition published by Classics in Western Spirituality.

I have read the preface and part of the introduction and am already being inspired.  Having previously read other books about her life--one tainted with new age ideologies before I had researched the authoress and another that is out-of-print and solidly researched with her Christian base--I am fascinated all over again with what stamina and substance such a soul reveals to us, to our souls.

In the preface, I am struck repeatedly with reminders as to why this human woman's soul and earthly experiences when here, resonate and inspire my soul and earthly experiences.  Her existence as a person as well as a soul who yet exists and even more powerfully so can affect my life by her friendship, guidance, and prayers is downright helpful and more--is hopeful.

I cite this one example, although the short preface is filled with many others--and the introduction yet more, and what awaits in her own words, of her visions has my soul all eyes and ears.

"Atypical as we may find her moderate Benedictinism, her assumption of quasi-clerical roles and her exegetical rather than experiential stance toward her visions, the act of writing that wrenched her from depression into leadership reminds us of the stunning personal integration and religious creativity of Beatrice of Nazareth, Catherine of Siena, and Teresa of Avila in similar acts."

I found this assessment to be quite encouraging, at a personal level.  I also had forgotten in previous reading of her life, that she was chronically ill.  She also was outspoken against the weaknesses in the clerics of her time; and preached in written and verbal modalities, rallying people--souls!--to not succumb to blind following and lukewarm Christianity. 

But it is that the act of writing wrenched her from depression into leadership--that somehow touched my soul's heart profoundly.  To realize that the act of writing can do so much not only for those who may read what is written--or not--is what gives me encouragement and hope.  And what is written from the inner abode wherein His Real Presence reigns and rules those souls who desire His full consummation of our souls, has such power not so much for those who read, if they do, but powers us from stagnation into leadership.

Does leadership need to be of the external, earthly variety?  No.  Leadership can be such as the inner world reveals--the world of souls.  The soul's inner sight, inner sensing, inner conversation and thought-flashing, inner hearing, inner breathing, inner communion with God Who Is Love.

So perhaps some of you may grasp the same kind of excitement and hope or at least glimpse a bit if you've read my blogs and know of or can relate with the trials, the suffering, and the spiritual journey thus far.  There is movement forward today with the comaraderie of yet another soul-friend, leading by example of her soul's journey when on earth--and of course, in fact, with what her soul will reveal of its existence in the earth-time since her stepping beyond the stairway to heaven.

I think Hildegard's soul will be with me very much in the creative endeavor, albeit manual and mundane, of tiling the tub surround today, here in this place where my body with soul encompassing it, exists for now.  I am interested in what her soul has to show me, has to say, and not only in the extant writings her soul mind and heart penned centuries ago.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Love God above all things, and love one another as ourselves.

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