|The Earth is the mother of all that is natural, the mother of all that is human. She is the mother of all, for contained in her are the seeds of all. The Earth of humankind contains all moistness, all verdancy, all germinating power. It is in so many ways fruitful. All creation comes from it. Yet it forms not only the basic raw material for humakind, but also the substance of the incarnation of God’s Son.—Saint Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a German Benedictine nun and polymath active as a philosopher, theologian, mystic, visionary, musical composer, and medical practitioner in the High Middle Ages. Virtually forgotten for many centuries, it has only been in recent times that her memory and legacy have been recovered and more deeply appreciated. The late Pope Benedict XVI declared her a saint and a doctor of the Church in 2012. As the text we have chosen for this post demonstrates, her theology is deeply ecological and thus it is appropriate that we honor her on her feast day, 17 September, during the Season of Creation. Humans need food and clothing and shelter, but we also need meaning, purpose, and hope. At the Good Shepherd Peace Center in Kit, South Sudan, Solidarity staff members organize retreats and conferences and arrange spiritual direction. We offer training for catechists, lay ministers, and deacons. We offer workshops in trauma healing and other services designed to enhance the spiritual and emotional well-being of the South Sudanese people. Our work contributes to the Laudato Sì goal for the promotion of a truly ecological spirituality.
13 September 2023
Fr. David Gentry
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