MONDAY THE SEVENTEENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2018
* Hildegard of Bingen *
Holy Spirit, giving life to all life, moving all creatures, the root of all things,
washing them clean, wiping out their mistakes, healing their wounds;
you are our true life, luminous, wonderful, awakening the heart from its ancient sleep.
( Hildegard of Bingen )
Come, Holy Spirit. Amen.
O fiery Spirit, praise to you,
who on the tympana and lyre
work and play!
By you, the human mind is set ablaze,
the tabernacle of its soul
contains its strength.
So mounts the will
and grants the soul to taste;
desire is its lamp.
In sweetest sound the intellect upon you calls,
a dwelling-place prepares for you,
with reason sweating in the golden labour.
Yet in your hand, you always hold the sword
to cut away
the deadly apple offering,
its blackened heart—a homicide,
when once that cloud reached out
to overshade the will and its desires,
in which the soul takes flight and circles round about.
But of the will and of desire the mind serves as the bond.
For when the spirit rears itself
to seek to see the evil eye, the gaping maw of wickedness,
then swiftly in your fire do you consume it, when you will.
But when the reason strays and, working evil things,
falls flat and low,
then as you will, you draw, constrain, and bring it back
through floods of trials and ordeals.
When evil yet its sword against you
draws, you break its blade into its heart;
the thrust against the fallen angel first
you made when into Hell you cast
his tower of pride.
Another tower you raised up in its place,
amongst the taxmen and the sinners;
to you their sins they do confess
by their own works and deeds.
So every creature, as it takes
its life from you returns to you its praise,
for you are that most precious balm
for broken, fetid wounds,
transforming them into
most precious gems.
Now deign to gather us, to draw us all to you
and to direct us on the upright course. Amen.
( Hildegard of Bingen )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Hildegard of Bingen: a hidden treasure come to light
Today Saint Laika’s remembers Hildegard of Bingen, whom some have called the greatest woman of the Middle Ages.
She was a phenomenon by the standards of any century. First, and above all, she was devoted to Jesus Christ, becoming a nun at the age of eighteen. As her leadership skills became evident she became the abbess of that community. She was a mystic and a visionary and she devoted many years to writing her visions down, interpreting them, and commenting on their significance. Her community of nuns had grown to the point of needing new quarters, so she moved the nuns to Bingen, and supervised the building of a new monastery for them. She corresponded with popes and high churchmen. She travelled through Germany and other parts of Europe preaching to the people.
Her use of parable and metaphor, of symbols, visual imagery and non-verbal means to communicate makes her work reach out effectively to people of our own day. She wrote and spoke extensively about social justice, about freeing the downtrodden, about the duty of seeing to it that every human being, made in the image of God, has the opportunity to develop and use the talents that God has given her or him, and to realise her or his God-given potential. This strikes a chord today.
She wrote seventy-two songs including a play set to music. Musical notation had only shortly before developed to the point where her music was recorded in a way that we can read today. She wrote at least two books of medical and pharmaceutical advice. She authored a commentary on the Gospels, and another on the Athanasian Creed.
Hildegard died in the year 1179.
For many years her work was forgotten, but in recent times she has had a marvellous resurgence. Pope Benedict XVI named her a doctor of the Church.
Quote: “Listen: there was once a king sitting on his throne. Around him stood great and wonderfully beautiful columns ornamented with ivory, bearing the banners of the king with great honour. Then it pleased the king to raise a small feather from the ground, and he commanded it to fly. The feather flew, not because of anything in itself but because the air bore it along. Thus am I, a feather on the breath of God.”
Scripture. In the third chapter of “Colossians,” at verses sixteen and seventeen, we read:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
… for peace in the world.
… for female theologians, in particular, we pray that the Church will listen to them and value what they have to say.
… for women in positions of leadership within the churches.
… for those killed or injured in Typhoon Mangkhut and Hurricane Florence; for those who have lost their homes; for those whose homes are badly damaged; for those waiting to return home not knowing what awaits them; for all animals, domestic and wild, caught up in the storms.
… for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
… for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
… for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
… for ourselves.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
“Who is the Trinity?” by Hildegard of Bingen:
Who is the Trinity?
You are music.
You are life.
Source of everything,
creator of everything,
angelic hosts sing your praise.
Invisible life that sustains all,
I awaken to life everything
in every waft of air.
The air is life,
greening and blossoming.
The waters ﬂow with life.
The moon, when waning, is again
rekindled by the sun,
waxing with life once more.
The stars shine.
radiating with life-light.
All creation is gifted with the
ecstasy of God’s light.
at any point.
can be located by its relationship
to the sun.
The earth has a scaffold of stones and trees.
In the same way is a person formed:
flesh is the earth,
the bones are the trees and stones.
The soul is the firmament of the organism.
In the manner in which the soul permeates
the body with its energy, it causes and
consummates all human action.
This is how a person becomes a ﬂowering orchard.
The person that does good works is indeed
this orchard bearing good fruit
and this is just like the earth with its ornamentation
of stone and blossoming trees.
Now in the people
that were meant. to be green,
there is no more life of any kind.
There is only shrivelled barrenness.
The winds are burdened
by the. utterly awful stink of evil,
The air belches out
the filthy uncleanliness of the peoples.
There pours forth an unnatural,
a loathsome darkness,
that withers the green,
and wizens the fruit
that was to serve as food for the people.
Sometimes this layer of air
full of a fog that is the source
of many destructive and barren creatures,
that destroy and damage the earth,
rendering it incapable
of sustaining humanity.
In nature, God established humankind
We are dressed in the scaffold of
in seeing — to understand,
in smelling – to discern,
in tasting – to nurture,
in touching — to govern.
In this way humankind comes to know God,
for God is the author of all creation.
O God, by whose grace your servant Hildegard, kindled with the fire of your love, became a burning and shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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