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Old 07-31-2017, 11:51 AM   #1
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St. Hildegard of Bingen: Most Great Peace?

I was curious to know what Baha'is thought about this prophecy published in a work of medieval theology and mysticism called the Liber Divinorum Operum (Book of Divine Works) by St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098 1179), also known as the Sibyl of the Rhine, who was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath; and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI.

She describes the coming of an era of peace not unlike that of the "Lesser Peace" or the "Most Great Peace" anticipated by Baha'is (albeit from a Catholic perspective and with reference to her Faith):


Vision 10: 17 - 21​


Quote:
"...In the meantime occurs the Age of the Lion, which has been described in Scivias: terrible and cruel wars that cause the death of countless men and women and raze many cities to the ground.

Just as a man conquers by his strength the weakness of a woman and a lion overawes other wild beasts, the cruelty of certain individuals will destroy the peace of others in these days, according to God's decree. Then God will permit dreadful punishments for enemies as a purification of their sins, just as the Divinity has constantly done since the beginning of the world.

When human beings are purged by these challenges, they will be disgusted at their quarrelsomeness. Out of the awe for God they will seek justice in all Church institutions that are pleasing to God. They will do this in the days of freedom as well as in the days of war...

Then so many new and unknown arrangements with respect to order and peace will occur that people will be amazed and talk about them. For such things have not in the past been heard of or known.

And because peace before the Day of Judgement to these Christians may be given, just as indeed peace came before the first advent of the Son of God, they will seek all justice in the Catholic Faith from the Omnipotent God, rejoicing with the Jews who formerly denied Christ. That peace which preceded the advent of Christ, in these days will be fully perfected because strong men will arise then in great prophecy so that all the buds of justice in the sons and daughters of men will flourish...

In these days sweet clouds will touch the Earth with a gentle breath and cause the Earth to overflow with the power of greenness and fertility. Then people will prepare themselves completely for justice, which was lacking in the above mentioned period of weakness, for the elements, harmed by the sins of men and women, had fallen totally into the service of disorder.

The princes and everyone else will put God's decrees into proper practice. They will forbid all weapons used to kill people and only tolerate such iron tools as are needed in farming and for the benefit of humanity. Those who disobey this command will be killed with their own weapons or cast away in some remote place...In these days [during the peace of the Age of the Lion] a true summer will reign through God's power because everyone will be steadfast in the truth...These days will be strong and glorious, full of peace and stability. These days will announce the coming of the Day of Judgement...

And then strong men will arise and prophesy and will collect together all their understanding of the Scriptures and all discourses inspired by the Holy Spirit, like a necklace of precious stones. Through these and through other wise ones many seculars will become good and will live in holiness.

Indeed this holy zeal will not soon dry up, but will last a long time, because all this will happen on account of the erring time, when there will have been many martyrs to the faith...

But because people attribute this quiet peacetime and fruitful abundance to themselves and not to God and meet once more with lethargy when it comes to religion, so many tribulations will again follow this time of peace as have never before seethed within the world..."

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-31-2017 at 01:08 PM.
 
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Old 07-31-2017, 12:46 PM   #2
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Thank you Yeshua, I hope your studies are going well.

Yes this is an amazing insight to the current day. It mirrors a lot that has happened and is written to happen.

I see the difference is that this vision appears to be a little jumbled in its timing. I would suppose that without direct revelation visions are a mixture of events in time.

It appears to cover events of the Lesser and Greater Peace components.

Regards Tony
 
Old 07-31-2017, 12:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Thank you Yeshua, I hope your studies are going well.

Yes this is an amazing insight to the current day. It mirrors a lot that has happened and is written to happen.

I see the difference is that this vision appears to be a little jumbled in its timing. I would suppose that without direct revelation visions are a mixture of events in time.

It appears to cover events of the Lesser and Greater Peace components.

Regards Tony

Thanks Tony!

Those are excellent points.

Of course, St. Hildegard living a thousand years ago would not have been able to distinguish between different degrees of peace in this way.

In Scivias, she wrote about the mode by which many of these "visionary experiences" were transmitted to her:


https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...=onepage&q=The visions I saw I did not perceive in dreams, or sleep, or delirium, or by the eyes of the body, or by the ears of the outer self&f=false


Quote:
When I was forty-two years and seven months old, Heaven was opened and a fiery light of exceeding brilliance came and permeated my whole brain, and inflamed my whole heart and my whole breast, not like a burning but like a warming flame, as the sun warms anything its rays touch. And immediately, I knew the meaning of the exposition of the scriptures...

But I had sensed in myself wonderfully the power and mystery of secret and admirable visions from my childhood - that is from the age of five years - up to that time, as I do now...

The visions I saw I did not perceive in dreams, or sleep, or delirium, or by the eyes of the body, or by the ears of the outer self, or in hidden places; but I received them while awake and seeing with a pure mind and the eyes and the ears of the inner self, in open places, as God willed it. How this might be is hard for mortal flesh to understand.

St. Hildegard differentiates between the "inner" and "outer" senses, as many other medieval Catholic theologians did before and after her. She claimed to receive her visions via the mind's eyes and ears: auribus interioris hominis, mediated not through dreams or hallucinations but in a waking vision interiorly, in a manner beyond the comprehension of the physical senses.

This is what St. Paul referred to in 1 Corinthians 2:9 -


Quote:
What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived -- the things God has prepared for those who love him

In her letter to Guibert, St. Hildegard described her visions of the "Living Light" in greater detail and how she received them. You might find this interesting:


Hildegard's reply to Guibert's first two letters


Quote:
A reply from Hildegard to the monk Guibert, AD 1175


I am not speaking these words as from myself or from another human person, but I reveal them as I have received in a heavenly vision...

O faithful servant, I, poor as I am in womanly form, am speaking these words to you again in true vision. If it pleased God to console my body as He does my soul in this vision, the fear would still not recede from my mind and heart, because I know that I am still a mere mortal, although from my infancy I have been in enclosure.

Moreover many wise men have been so infused with wondrous deeds that they opened many hidden things but, as a result of vainglory, they attributed those deeds to themselves and so they fell. But those who draw off wisdom from God in the lifting up of their soul and account themselves as nothing become the columns of heaven, just as happened in Paul's case...

God works where He wills, to the glory of His Name not that of earthly man. Indeed I have always a trembling fear, since I know no safety of any possibility in myself. But I stretch out my hand to God that I might be upheld by Him as if by a wing that lacks every weight of force and flies through the wind. Nor can I perfectly know the things that I see, as long as I am a being of corporeal function and invisible soul, since mankind is deficient in these two respects.

Moreover from my infancy, when my bones and sinews and veins had not yet grown strong, I always have enjoyed the gift of this vision in my soul, right up to the present time, although I am now more than seventy years old. But my spirit, just as God wishes, climbs in this vision to the height of the firmament and the changeability of the variable air and broadens itself among various peoples although they are remote from me in far-off districts and places
. And since I see these things in such a way, therefore I also observe them according to the changeability of the clouds and of other created things.

Moreover, I do not hear these things either with bodily ears or with the thoughts of my heart nor do I perceive them by any combination of my five senses but only in my soul, while my outer eyes are open, so that I never undergo in these visions the defect produced by ecstasy. But I see them in wakefulness day and night. And I am continually constrained by my infirmities and bound by pains that are sometimes so severe as to threaten death. But until now God has sustained me.

The light that I see is not spatial, but far brighter than a cloud that bears the sun and nor can I regard in it height, length nor width. And I call it the shadow of the Living Light and just as the sun, moon, and stars appeared reflected in water, so the Scriptures, words, virtues, and some works formed by humans shine in it for me.

And in the same light I perceive, sometimes and not frequently, another light that I call the Living Light, which I am surely much less capable of revealing as I see than the former light. And in the meantime, while I am contemplating it, all my sadness and all pain are taken from my memory so that then I act like an unaffected girl and not an old woman...

Moreover whatever I shall have seen or learned in this vision, I retain a memory of it for a long time, so that I recollect that I saw and heard it at one time. And at the same time I see and hear and also know and as it were in a moment I learn what I know. For what I do not see, that I do not know, since I am not learned. And the things that I write I see and hear in that vision. Nor do I put down words other than the ones that I hear and I reveal them in unpolished Latin words just as I heard them in that vision, since I am not taught in this vision to write as philosophers write. And the words that I see and hear in that vision are not like the words that sound from human lips at all but like flickering flame and as a cloud moved in the clear air. Also I cannot understand the form of this light in any way, just as I cannot perfectly see the sphere of the sun...

And I did not speak and write my own experiences or those of any person, but as I saw and heard them on high in the heavenly places and received them through the secrets of His mysteries.


​At the end of Scivias, St. Hildegard stated rather forcefully:


Quote:
But whoever rashly conceals these words written by the finger of God, madly abridging them, or for any human reason taking them to a strange place and scoffing at them, let him be reprobate.

So she really was convinced that these visions came from God. The Catholic Church has seen fit to both canonize and honour her as a Doctor of the Church, which means that we Catholics treat her authentic writings with the same degree of reverence that we do those by St. Augustine, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and other doctors.

One must always bear in mind, nevertheless as you wisely note, that while the vision may be true, the visionary is still a fallible human being who might not comprehend or have properly understood the full import of a given vision, especially if it does concern future events many centuries removed from the recipient. The world has changed much since St. Hildegard's time, so we must situate her visions firstly in the context in which they were revealed as with all visionaries, approved or unapproved. In this respect, St. Hildegard herself notes in the above: "Nor can I perfectly know the things that I see, as long as I am a being of corporeal function and invisible soul, since mankind is deficient in these two respects."

So she makes the exact same point that you do!!!

Last edited by Yeshua; 07-31-2017 at 01:06 PM.
 
Old 07-31-2017, 03:49 PM   #4
Jcc
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Thank you Yeshua for these inspiring quotes.

My thought is that while they may be compared with Baha'u'llah's Revelations concerning the Greater and Lesser Peace, they must also be compared with the Old Testament Prophets like Isaiah, Micah and Jeremiah. And for that matter, the Revelation of St. John as well. All of these prophecies refer, presumably, to the same time period. They are all full of symbolism. How do they fit together?
 
Old 07-31-2017, 04:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
Thank you Yeshua for these inspiring quotes.

My thought is that while they may be compared with Baha'u'llah's Revelations concerning the Greater and Lesser Peace, they must also be compared with the Old Testament Prophets like Isaiah, Micah and Jeremiah. And for that matter, the Revelation of St. John as well. All of these prophecies refer, presumably, to the same time period. They are all full of symbolism. How do they fit together?

Hi Jcc,

Good thoughts, thank you!

While I'm Catholic, I am open to the idea that the Holy Spirit can "blow wherever He chooses", such that Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha could have received genuine intuitions about where history is heading. The Baha'i view of the Lesser Peace - global governance, abolition of war, for instance - is where I see humanity going as its next time in the coming century.

I believe that the prophecies in Isaiah and the other Tanankh books refer to the era that St. Hildegard is predicting, for she writes in LDO Vision 10: 20:


Quote:
"...For whatever good and glorious event the prophets [of the Old Testament] announced will be fulfilled in those days. Wisdom, piety and holiness will be strengthened..."
 
Old 07-31-2017, 04:32 PM   #6
Jcc
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From: Edwardsville, Illinois, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua View Post
Hi Jcc,

Good thoughts, thank you!

While I'm Catholic, I am open to the idea that the Holy Spirit can "blow wherever He chooses", such that Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha could have received genuine intuitions about where history is heading. The Baha'i view of the Lesser Peace - global governance, abolition of war, for instance - is where I see humanity going as its next time in the coming century.

I believe that the prophecies in Isaiah and the other Tanankh books refer to the era that St. Hildegard is predicting, for she writes in LDO Vision 10: 20:
So, there is a good confirmation that to St. Hildegard also there is consistency in the ancient prophecies and with her own later visions. But it requires inner vision to really see the consistency, because if you lack that or tend toward literalism it becomes a jumble. But if you are able to piece together the puzzle you can see God's great plan for the world.

Last edited by Jcc; 07-31-2017 at 05:03 PM.
 
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