Hildegard, mystic and a prophet, wishes to be a practical, helping mystic and prophet. She constantly extols the virtue of “usefulness” and in the final sentence of her major work, De Operatione Dei
, she tells us that the reason for her work has been “for the usefulness of believers” who are asked to receive her words with a “modest heart.”18 She writes that God “destroys uselessness.”19
Hildegard gives us a working guide to her work when she insists on usefulness. It is one thing to translate Hildegard or to be with her pictures and music--it is quite another to deeply...