Spiritual Directors International

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On Seeking Spiritual Direction with Hildegard

Guest Author: 
Dale Keenan and Robyn Fitzgerald

In 1106, at just eight years old, Hildegard was offered by her parents as a tithe to the Church. Her parents brought her to the Abbey Church of St Disibod, in the Rhineland, where she was placed in the care of an anchorite named Jutta.

At the age of fourteen, she too was consecrated as an anchorite, and bricked into a cell attached to the Abbey.  With openings in the cell walls for just food and other necessities, as well as the opportunity to participate in church services, it is thought an additional opening in the wall existed for people from the town of Disibonberg to come for spiritual conversation with the anchorites.  On our recent pilgrimage “In the Footsteps of Hildegard of Bingen”, we could not help but wonder what it must have been like to walk the path through the forest and up to the Abbey for spiritual direction with Hildegard herself.

Two pilgrim hearts open
with questions step out seeking
Light on ancient ground.

At one with the wind
Blowing us where it will…
to Mt Disibod.

The bright light of day
now dappled light of fir trees
A winding dirt path
To Hildegard’s cell.

Two stone slabs remain.
Hildegard stood here speaking
Her words of wisdom.

I wonder, I wonder ...
What was that like to hear?
Stand there…imagine.

800 years since
Her spirit inspires us still
With grace and wisdom

Through music and word
Healing graces flow forth
To pilgrim’s open hearts.




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