Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Hildegard of Bingen Urges Confession
Hildegard was a woman who stood head and shoulders above all those around her. She lived in the 1100’s, and was extremely unusual for that time—a literate woman who was a published author, administrator, visionary, and person with the gift of prophecy. Plus, she went on regular speaking engagements, later in her life.
All of this striving and working to further God’s work in the world! The excerpt from one of Hildegard’s writings is entitled “Letter to Christian Laypeople.” This is a solemn reminder to turn from the devil and his works and ways.
Hildegard wrote about the clear dichotomy between secular and religious, and how far even changing climate and legal responsibilities can be, adding to the persistent uproar. Hildegard mentions the death of some shameful experiences, the idea of wanting desperately, or even anger at not being chosen.
Are we able to write out the happenings of the day, and become deeply involved in the confession of what we have done as well as by what we have left undone? What about those in Hildegard’s time? She is, indeed, pointing out several sad areas of many, in the 12th century, the 21st century, and everything in between.
What Hildegard is suggesting is called by yet another name: the practice of examen. Would that more Christians had this practice as a regular part of their spiritual lives. Confession of sins and places where people fall short is a sure way to a closer walk with God. As the Apostle Paul says, “Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14) Prudent advice, whether it comes from Hildegard of Bingen, Billy Graham, or some other spiritual director.
Dear Lord, in Your mercy, allow each of us to monitor our lives in such a fashion as is pleasing to You, and take corrective measures when necessary. In Jesus’s powerful name we pray, amen.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.