Friday, May 12, 2017

"Why I Disobey My Bishop" By Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Patron of Excommunicated and Alienated Catholics

Hildegard of Bingen, Ebingen Abbey


"Why I Disobey My Bishop" by St. Hildegard of Bingen/ Patron Saint of Excommunicated and Alienated Catholics

This fiery little tirade was written by St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) whose monastery wast
placed under interdict by the local bishop! Hildegard challenged the pope, bishops and civil leaders of  her times, unafraid of the consequences. She is the patron of all who speak truth to power including "whistle blowers," Catholics who follow conscience and disobey unjust laws, and the many today who are excommunicated! Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP,www.arcwp.org

"Flame of Anger"
You ask why I disobey you, my bishop;
I answer in a spirit of prayer,
As I hope you did too in addressing me.
I, the Abbess, disobey, and all my sisters choose to disobey,
Because in such obedience is only darkness.
In our disobedience is light for our spirits,
So has God shown us.
I am not just disobedient,
I am outraged.
A thunderstorm of outrage shakes my soul.
In God’s truth I say to you:
‘You are wrong and we are right.’
We are obeying Christ,
We are following Christ,
We choose not to insult Christ,
As obeying you would force us to do.
Because of what you call our disobedience,
You have forbidden us to sing our psalms.
You have deprived us of the Food of Life.
You have cut off the streams of life, the sacramental graces.
God told me to tell you this also:
Beware of closing the mouths of those who sing God’s praises.
‘Who dares to de-string the harp of heaven?’ God asked me.
‘Only the devil,’ I whispered.
Ask yourself, O bishop, whose side are you on?
Excerpts from Letter to the Bishop written by Hildegarde of Bingen aged 80

4 comments:

Patricia Jursik said...

Wondering what her discipline was about. What event caused this Bishop to censure this woman?

Millie Mellgren said...

Thank you for this post!
"I am not disobedient. I am outraged!"
In support of those sent from the church, This is a time for holy outrage.
"Who dares to de-string the harp of God?"
Thank you for highlighting this wonderful text.

Millie Mellgren said...

Please edit my previous comment to say "harp of heaven" not "harp of God." I do not wish to misquote Hildegard! Then delete this comment. Thank you. My apologies for the error!

Mercy Michalski said...

Speak truth to power even if you appear unladylike. šŸ˜„