"Never stop singing!" commanded Hildegard of Bingen, who had many reasons not to sing. From the time of her birth in 1098 in Germany's middle Rhine Valley, Hildegard was susceptible to illness. She was a spiritually sensitive child, and her physical weaknesses led her to nurture a rich interior life. Hildegard experienced her first vision at age three and began her spiritual quest in earnest at eight, when her parents offered her, their tenth child, to the church as a tithe. Her earliest spiritual experiences involved chanting the Psalms as part of the Benedictine daily prayer services (Opus Dei, or "work of God").

This Benedictine nun lived 81 active, fulfilling years, in spite of regular optical migraines and the reality of living in a man's world. Hildegard founded two convents; organized the first public preaching tours ever conducted by a woman; authored nearly 400 bold letters to popes, emperors, abbesses, abbots, monks, nuns, and laypeople; worked as a healer, naturalist, botanist, dietary specialist, and exorcist; composed daring music; crafted poetry with staying power; wrote the first surviving sung morality play; and wrote three compelling theological works.

Through singing, Hildegard expressed her gratitude for God, and her songs below invite us to take up our own crosses and be thankful with her.

Life-Altering Love

Endless Strength! Your love authored life when you spoke that one Word. You're the One ordering order, creating creation, your own way. And your Word dressed himself in flesh, embracing the disobedience-stained form we inherited from Adam, and that's how Jesus removed the sadness from his clothes. The Savior's love liberates the world, for what's ever been kinder than his incarnation? His ...

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