Light on a River’s Turning
Light on a River’s Turning: Meditations on the Life of Hildegard of Bingen
by Lyn Holley Doucet
Rockville, MD: Now You Know Media, 2014
Reviewed by Wendi Romero
As a spiritual director, to accompany others on their sacred journeys is a rhythm that occurs quite naturally for Lyn Holley Doucet. In the mystic and saint Hildegard of Bingen, Doucet has discovered for herself a suitable mentor to the “spirituality of the natural world,” and she graciously offers Hildegard as a soul’s guide to every present-day seeker. Doucet presents Hildegard as a woman of great vision who listened deeply to the promptings of the Spirit and acted courageously upon that guidance in her everyday life. With this book, Doucet ushers you into intimate conversation with Hildegard, inviting you to a place of contemplative listening in your own life.
In 2013, Doucet spent ten days in Germany, immersing herself in the lush land of Hildegard—the places where she lived, wrote, and worked in the spirit of viriditas, her guiding image of the vital greening power of the Divine. Hildegard points to God, “It is Love in the power of the everlasting Godhead, full of exquisite beauty, and marvelous in its mysterious gifts.” In her writings, Doucet humbly points to Hildegard, offering her heart and hand as an insightful companion on the spiritual path.
Light on a River’s Turning is written in three parts: praying with Hildegard’s life, praying with Hildegard’s words and visions, and traveling with Hildegard. Doucet delves into Hildegard’s history, then introduces you to her writings, images, and powerful examples of faith. In her travels with Hildegard, and through her vivid descriptions, Doucet transports you to the places she has been. Doucet stirs the reader’s soul with meditations and thoughtful questions for reflection.
In a letter to the Bishop, Hildegard wrote, “The Spirit of the Lord fills the Earth, and this means that no creature lacks a spiritual life.” These words are exemplified in the contemplative practice of spiritual direction as spiritual directors strive to lovingly companion spiritual directees. Spiritual directors will discover that Hildegard’s spirituality serves as a bright light on the turning rivers of every seeker’s life.
Doucet is an author, speaker, retreat facilitator, counselor, and spiritual director. She currently serves as director of spiritual formation at Our Lady of the Oaks Jesuit Retreat House, Grand Coteau, Louisiana, USA.
Wendi Romero is a poet, photographer, and seeker from Southwest Louisiana, USA. She is the author of three books of poetry, Pilgrimage to Self: Leaving, Walking, Returning; Clear a Path for the Season of Advent; and Out of the Kiln: Vessels of Hope, Poetry of Transformation. Three of her poems have been featured in Listen: A Seeker’s Resource for Spiritual Direction and Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction.