Monday, May 12, 2008

Voices of Wisdom

Yesterday I led a hike in Discovery Park to honor mothers and women, our Mother Earth, and the voice of the Wisdom of God through the ages. Due in part to the unpredictable weather, we were a small but jovial group!

We each took some time out of a busy Sunday afternoon to explore our connections to each other, to the whole of Creation, and to our God. In celebration of Pentecost, a day to recognize the many voices of the Spirit, I offered readings from some of our spiritual mothers in the Christian tradition.

I would like to share one of the readings we reflected on as we walked through the glorious grassland and forest to the edge of the bluff overlooking Puget Sound and then back through the fascinating trees and plant life—the following passage is from the writings of Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century Christian mystic:

“I am Wisdom. Mine is the blast of the resounding Word through which all creation came to be, and I quickened all things with my breath so that not one of them is mortal in its kind; for I am Life. Indeed I am Life, whole and undivided -- not hewn from any stone, or budded from branches, or rooted in virile strength; but all that lives has its root in Me. For Wisdom is the root whose blossom is the resounding Word....

I flame above the beauty of the fields to signify the earth -- the matter from which humanity was made. I shine in the waters to indicate the soul, for, as water suffuses the whole earth, the soul pervades the whole body. I burn in the sun and the moon to denote Wisdom, and the stars are the innumerable words of Wisdom.

I am the Supreme and Fiery Force who kindles every living spark.... As I circled the whirling sphere with my upper wings (that is, with Wisdom), rightly I ordained it. And I am the fiery life of the Divine essence: I flame above the beauty of the fields; I shine in the waters; I burn in the sun, the moon, and the stars. And, with the airy wind, I quicken all things vitally by an unseen, all-sustaining life. For the air is alive in the green plants and the flowers; the waters flow as if they lived; the sun too lives in its light; and when the moon wanes it is rekindled by the light of the sun, as if it lived anew. Even the stars glisten in their light as if alive.”

The Holy Spirit as Caritas, St. Hildegard von Bingen,
translated by B. Newman
Hildegard's illustration of Sophia, Wisdom of God

1 comment:

Lorette said...

What a wonderful quote! I thought this event would be really enjoyable, but I live in Eugene...so a friend and I plan to host something similar next year for the women of our congregation and others who want to join us. Thank you for sharing your event and the writing and art of Hildegard of Bingen.

Lorette Waggoner
lorette.waggoner@gmail.com