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September 17, 2020

“And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

Today the church commemorates Hildegard of Bingen, Abbess. Born in 1098 to a family of minor nobility, Hildegard spent most of her life in convents. She was a reformer, an author, an advisor to kings, the founder of natural science in Europe, and a musical composer of towering influence (the most famous composer prior to Hildegard was probably that old favorite “anonymous”).

At the heart of these many and varied accomplishments was a deep, mystical spirituality. From an early age, she had an awareness that her spirituality was centered in the umbra viventis lucis, the “reflection of the living Light.” It is said that when she died on September 17, 1179, two beams of  light appeared in the sky and crossed over the room where she was dying. Her light lives on the the promises of Christ, reflecting still to us today. I’ll leave you with her words, a prayer to the Holy Spirit:

Fire of the Spirit, life of the lives of creatures,
spiral of sanctity, bond of all natures,
glow of charity, lights of clarity, taste
of sweetness to sinners, be with us and hear us.

Composer of all things, light of all the risen,
key of salvation, release from the dark prison,
hope of all unions, scope of chastities, joy
in the glory, strong honour, be with us and hear us.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Spirit of Life, thank you for Hildegard and all the saints who have led us into your light. May we brightly reflect your light and love into the world today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Illumination from Liber Scivias, showing Hildegard of Bingen receiving a vision, dictating to her scribe and sketching on a wax tablet (public domain).

From → COVID-19

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