A Devotion to St. Hildegard of Bingen

Posted by Carolyn Pirtle on Mar 10, 2020 7:03:00 AM

Editorial Note: This post is a part of our saint devotion series, in which one of our staff or faculty members explores their relationship with a particular saint. In honor of International Women's Day, we are highlighting female saints this week.

On my desk and bulletin board is a smattering of icons, statues, and a rotating collection of inspiring quotes and prayers. Amid this mish-mash are two images of a woman with whom I’ve had a strange relationship over the past 18 years: St. Hildegard of Bingen. One is a retablo by artist Lynn Garlick; the other, a woodcut by Julie Lonneman.

In the retablo, Hildegard holds a book and a feathered quill and looks up to heaven, where rays of light reach out in response to her gaze, penetrating her inquisitive mind. In the woodcut, Hildegard smiles serenely, eyes closed, as rays of light emanate from her head.

Both images speak to the active contemplation, or contemplative activity, which defined Hildegard’s life. No one who reads even a cursory biography could call her inactive: Hildegard composed music and dramas for her nuns to perform. She wrote poetry, as well as medical treatises offering remedies using plants and herbs. She traveled up and down the Rhine on a preaching tour during the latter years of her life—unheard of for a woman at that time (perhaps for our own time too). Men in power sought her counsel, including royals, clergy, even the Pope.

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Topics: communion of saints, prayer, saints, spirituality, devotions, saint devotions

Spirited song: Celebrating St. Joseph during Lent

Posted by Bill Schmitt on Mar 22, 2019 10:10:14 AM


Some milestones in the Lenten season are literally a pleasure to celebrate as days for rejoicing or gaining new insight or simply making this journey of ours a bit more sentimental. When the liturgical calendar brought us the solemnity of St. Joseph, spouse of the blessed Virgin Mary, on March 19, it was traditional and meaningful to have a parish party—a feast for the senses which help incarnate Eastertime love in god’s family.

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Topics: devotional music, saints, traditions, devotions

Why we sacrifice for Lent

Posted by Theresa Smart on Mar 13, 2019 7:15:00 AM

During Lent, the Church asks us to prepare for Christ’s passion and resurrection by making small sacrifices, traditionally in the form of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. But why do we sacrifice? What is a sacrifice, anyway?

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Topics: Lent, prayer, traditions, devotions

Praying the Angelus daily

Posted by Camilla MacKenzie on Feb 18, 2019 3:49:38 PM

Every day at noon, the PA system at Christ the Redeemer School in Houston, TX, comes on with a ping! and an invitation rings out, “Please stand for the Angelus.” Throughout the entire building and campus (playground included), everyone from preschool through administration joins in praying the Angelus, recalling and praying the mystery of salvation that came through Mary’s “yes.”

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Topics: prayer, Mary, spirituality, traditions, devotions

Living and Handing on the Faith

The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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