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Tiny Retreat #2: Hildegard of Bingen

9 Jul

Hildegard of Bingen: Patron saint of green and growing

Hildegard was only five years old in 1098 when her parents brought her, their tenth child, to the monastery of St. Disibode. A holy woman named Jutta took the little girl in and taught her Latin and music so she could sing the psalms with the monks and nuns. Jutta also taught Hildegard everything she knew about herbal medicine. At age 15, Hildegard decided to follow the Benedictine way and become a nun. When Jutta died, Hildegard became the prioress of the community.

Hildegard was a mystic, a person who experiences extraordinary communion with God. Hildegard wrote down her understandings of God in vivid pictures. Many women were attracted to her teaching about God and came to join her monastery, which grew so large that Hildegard started another monastery near Bingen, a nearby city. She continued to write and teach. Here is one of her poems.

Again I am in turmoil.

Should I speak, or must I be silent?

I feel like a gnarled old tree, withered and crooked and flaky.

All the stories of the years are written on my branches.

The sap is gone, the voice is dead.
 


But I long to make again a sacred sound.

I want to sound out God

I want to be a young juicy, sap-running tree

So that I can sing God as God knows how.
 


O God, you gentle viridity

O Mary, honeycomb of life

O Jesus, hidden in sweetness as flowing honey,

Release my voice again.
 


I have sweetness to share.
I have stories to tell.

I have God to announce.

I have green life to celebrate.

I have rivers of fire to ignite.

Hildegard make up the word viridity. It means greening, the life power of God that is in everything. For Hildegard the Word of God is greening; it has the power to create Christians. A tree growing and branching out is greenness in motion. Love is green. Jesus is greenness incarnate. Sin is not green. Sin is drying up, losing one’s ability to create.

• Read the first two verses of the poem again. When have you felt your sap is gone, your voice dead? What or who helped you know you could sing again?

• Does Hildegard’s way of calling on God, on Mary, on Jesus resonate with you? Can you read the last verse of the poem as your own song?

If Hildegard were alive today, she would sing about God’s work in the unfolding of creation in evolution. “O Holy Spirit” she writes, “you make life alive, you move in all things, you are the root of all created being, you waken and reawaken everything that is.”
 
For her teaching, Pope Benedict named Hildegard a Doctor of the Church. This means she is one of the Catholic Church’s greatest teachers. There are four women Doctors—St. Hildegard, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of Lisieux.

• Make a resolution to see the Holy Spirit greening the earth around you. Pray a thanksgiving prayer each day for one beautiful thing you see.

 

 

“I am a feather on the breath of God.”

 

 


 

 

Each of the Cosmos Cards has a fact about one of God’s creative moves and a blessing. These cards are ready to mail as a postcard for someone who needs a regular reminder that God is with him or her. $15 for all 25 cards.

 

 

An Amazing Journey is a discussion guide on the Universe Story. The book features 50 articles by leaders in this field. Click here to view the Table of Contents. Only $20!

Order online at goodgroundpress.com or call 800-232-5533.

Going on vacation? Take a retreat along.

25 Jun

Are you taking your tablet/phone/laptop on vacation? If you are, you can sit by the lake or on the beach and give yourself your annual spiritual. We recommend three online retreats from Good Ground Press that will refresh your soul. Try any one of them.

•  Holy Women, Full of Grace
•  Why Not Soar?
•  The Our Father

You actually don’t need your electronics for these retreats. They can be printed out and shared with others. There are more retreat options on our home page at goodgroundpress.com. Just click on online retreats at the right-hand top of the page.
 May your summer bring you closer to God and to the self you want to be. May your family and friends bring you strength and joy.

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Check out our website!

19 Jun

Special Lent Offer!

10 Jan

Lent is looming. Ash Wednesday is March 6 this year. Spending time with the Gospel is a great way to keep Lent. Sunday by Sunday makes Gospel-centered faith sharing easy.

 The Sunday Gospels during Lent ask each of us —

  What transforms you? Gives you life?
  What have you done with a second chance?
  Is it the prodigal son who is lost or his older
 brother?
  Which stones should you stop throwing?



Click here to read some of the Sunday by Sunday issues for Lent. Then imagine every adult in your parish reading them, too.

Our Lent/Easter unit of eight issues is only $2.00 per unit when you order 100 units or more. Call us today at 800-232-5533 to reserve your copies of Sunday by Sunday at only $2.00 per person. We look forward to hearing from you.

Visit goodgroundpress.com to see our other Lent resources!

New Online Retreat!

9 Nov

Pray with the women of the gospel.

We have a new retreat for you, based on Sister Joan’s new book, Holy Women, Full of Grace. We hope these four sessions with gospel women will be an occasion for you to bless your own life in Christ and unite you in prayer with women and girls around the world. You can view the whole table of contents for Holy Women at goodgroundpress.com. Please feel free to share this retreat with others. Click here to begin.

Visit goodgroundpress.com to see more of our Advent Resources.

Finding God

6 Feb

Our 2018 Lenten retreat comes to you from Sister Eleanor Lincoln and Sister Catherine Litecky, both Sisters of St. Joseph who created dozens of online retreats for friends of Good Ground Press. This 8-part retreat—Finding God—was one of the last ones Eleanor and Catherine did for us. We give it to you here as our gift this Lent. God bless your seeking and your discoveries. Click here to begin the retreat.

New Advent Retreat!

29 Nov

 

Prepare Your Heart for Christmas with this 4-part Advent retreat written by Sister Joan. Click here for the first two parts. Look for parts three and four next week.

You can view several Sunday by Sunday issues here, too. God bless these weeks of preparation for Christmas.

Visit goodgroundpress.com to view our Advent resources!

Fully Alive! An Easter Retreat

6 Apr

Looking for an Easter retreat? Visit goodgroundpress.com and check out our Fully Alive retreat! In this retreat, you will walk with six Christians who have poured out their lives in love — Dorothy Day, Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Teilhard de Chardin, Julian of Norwich, and Paul the Apostle. You can do the free retreat online or download and print it off.

 

 

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