Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Hildegard's movie

- Hildegard and Volmar, her teacher and Saint Disibod monk

I saw there's a German movie coming out about Hildegard of Bingen titled Vision by Margarethe von Trotta. Here's a little about Hildegard from Wikipedia ....

Blessed Hildegard of Bingen (German: Hildegard von Bingen; Latin: Hildegardis Bingensis) (1098 – 17 September 1179) .... was a Christian mystic, German Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath. Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama. She wrote theological, botanical and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, poems, and the first surviving morality play, while supervising brilliant miniature Illuminations.

Here's a plot synopsis from the movie's website ...

A child of a wealthy German family, Hildegard is handed over to a Benedictine Monastery at the age of 8. Taught in the arts of herbal medicine, reading and writing by her mentor Jutta von Sponheim, she quickly excels in all. When Jutta dies, Hildegard is horrified by evidence of self-flagellation on her body and vows to change the ways of the order. Hildegard becomes the abbess of the convent and by subtly using her intelligence and diplomacy begins to change the laws from the highest level. Since childhood she has had powerful visions that she records. Certain that these mystic perceptions are messages from God, she mentions them to her superior, without fear of the obvious scepticism and suspicion of heresy from the Christian order. The Pope grants her his support and allows her to publish the written accounts of her revelations. With this, Hildegard’s life takes a new turn. Allowed to build her own convent—the monastery of Saint Rupertsberg at Bingen—she invents a revolutionary and humanist approach to devotion.

And here's the trailer ...

The thing I find most interesting about Hildegard is the fact that she had visions - those seem like examples of God 'working directly with the creature', as Ignatius would say ....

Hildegard says that she first saw “The Shade of the Living Light” at the age of three and by the age five she began to understand that she was experiencing visions. In Hildegard’s youth, she referred to her visionary gift as her viso. She explained that she saw all things in the light of God through the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Hildegard was hesitant to share her visions, confiding only to Jutta, who in turn told Volmar, Hildegard's tutor and, later, secretary. Throughout her life, she continued to have many visions, and in 1141, at the age of 42, Hildegard received a vision she believed to be an instruction from God, to "write down that which you see and hear." ...

I'm looking forward to the movie - if nothing else, it will give me a chance to work on my college German :)


Anonymous soma said...

I am glad Christian Mysticism is being expressed. As we acquire unity, we see that nothing exist in isolation so the nature of our being is unity, a unity of body, mind and spirit. Wholeness or holiness can be achieved with a watchful mind and the knowledge that everything is united in God, if old fears, doubts and prejudices wear away to make room for new ideas and understanding.

10:03 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Soma, thanks for the comment.

8:05 PM  

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