(Hildegard as spiritual counsellor)

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In a true vision of the mysteries of God, hear these words: O daughter born from
Adam’s side and formed by God as the type of the building up of His kingdom, why are you languishing, so that your mind is like the shifting clouds that the storms blow about, at times bright in the sunlight, at times dark in the shadows...?            
            You say: I long to rest, to seek out a nesting place for my heart, where my soul may find peace.  But, O daughter, it is not serving God to cast off your burden and to abandon God’s sheepfold, when you have that light through which you may illuminate it, so that you may lead the sheep to pasture.  Now then, rein yourself in, lest your mind become inflamed with the sweetness which is very harmful to you in the instability of secular life.  But be true to your calling, because this is what the grace of God wishes.  Beware, therefore, lest you lose that grace through the instability of your mind.  May God help you to stay alert through pure knowledge.

                                              Hildegard to the Abbess Sophia

That light that I saw in your spirit in a true vision is this: that you are a son of
salvation, but yet you live in great tribulation... from various thoughts, which at times lift you up to the heights and at other times cause you to wander in secular concerns, and sometimes lead you into vainglory by means of a strange revelation, as it is written: “The Lord knows the thoughts of men, that they are vain” [Ps 93].  Beware, therefore of inquiring rashly into your thoughts and dreams about how long you will remain on this earthly journey.... God showed me nothing about the length or brevity of the days of that brother that you asked me about, neither in years nor in seasons. 
            Now I also see that you, in the lifting up of your hands, are like a shifting cloud on account of your unstable thoughts, which cause you to doubt…. When you think simply, I see you pure like the sun, and your sacrifice is pleasing to God.  And God will free your soul.

                                                                        Hildegard to Rudeger the Monk

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In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.