Season of Creation with St. Hildegard of Bingen (Days 1-7)
September 01, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.



No other saint after Francis of Assisi could lay claim to being a patron of the environment than Hildegard of Bingen -- Benedictine nun, visionary, botanist, musician, liturgist, and doctor of the Church.  She serves therefore as an ideal guide for this year’s Season of Creation.  The format is simple enough for each day, September 1-October 4: a Scripture passage, a Meditation drawn from Hildegard’s writings, and a chant-prayer from one of her musical compositions.  The latter are translated from the Latin original as heard in the accompanying recordings.  The meditations are drawn largely from the commentaries she wrote on her various visions.  They invite us into a medieval world very different from our own and yet compelling in their portrayal of creation themes woven seamlessly into an exposition of Christian teachings.  This year's theme for the season is "Listen to the Voice of Creation."  Given Hildegard's renown as a composer of liturgical texts and the wide availability of her music due to numerous recent recordings she is all the more suitable as a guide this year.  Further resources may be found at 

 September 1 

O all you works of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, angels of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, the heavens of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  And you, clouds of the sky, O bless the Lord.
And you, all armies of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, sun and moon, O bless the Lord.
  And you, the stars of the heav'ns, O bless the Lord.
And you, showers and rain, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, all you breezes and winds, O bless the Lord.
  And you, fire and heat, O bless the Lord.
And you, cold and heat, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, showers and dew, O bless the Lord.
  And you, frosts and cold, O bless the Lord.
And you, frost and snow, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, night-time and day, O bless the Lord.
  And you, darkness and light, O bless the Lord.
  And you, lightning and clouds, O bless the Lord.

O let the earth bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, mountains and hills, O bless the Lord.
  And you, all plants of the earth, O bless the Lord.
And you, fountains and springs, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, rivers and seas, O bless the Lord.
  And you, creatures of the sea, O bless the Lord.
And you, every bird in the sky, O bless the Lord.
  And you, wild beasts and tame, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, children of men, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

O Israel, bless the Lord. O bless the Lord.
  And you, priests of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
And you, servants of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, spirits and souls of the just, O bless the Lord.
  And you, holy and humble of heart, O bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Mizael, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

Let us praise the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit:
  To you be highest glory and praise for ever.
May you be blessed, O Lord, in the heavens.
  To you be highest glory and praise for ever. (Daniel 3:57-88)


God created the elements of the cosmos. All the elements are present in human beings and each human being is able to function through the elements, which are fire, air, water and earth. These four basic substances are interwoven and connected to such an extent that none of them can be separated from the others; and they are so closely interconnected that they are known as the firmament. Within this structure, the sun is almost supreme, and it sends its fire and splendour over everything. Grouped around the sun are various stars of such strength and brightness that they are like mountains in the way they reach down through the firmament to the earth, and the closer they are to the earth, the brighter they seem to be. Round the sun also there are other stars of lesser strength and brightness; these are like low valleys in comparison to the majesty of those other luminaries and they therefore appear smaller. (Causes and Cures I)

This is the sense of God’s mystery: in order that we might clearly perceive and understand what his fullness is, the origin of which has never been seen and in which there is never any lack of the powerful strength that established all the streams of spiritual force. For if God were ever to be empty of his own greenness and power, what would become of his works? They would of course be in vain. Therefore he who is the maker is seen in the fullness of his works. (Scivias II,1:1) 

Chant Prayer


O Father great,

in great necessity we are.

Thus we now beg, we beg of you

according to your Word,

through whom you once established us

full of all that we now lack.

Now may it please you, Father,

as it behooves you—look upon us

with your kindly aid,

lest we should fail again

and, lost, forget your name.

By that your name we pray—

please kindly help and bring us aid! (trans. Nathaniel M. Campbell) 

September 2

Then the angel that had been sent to me, whose name was Uriel, answered and said to me, ‘Your understanding has utterly failed regarding this world, and do you think you can comprehend the way of the Most High?’ Then I said, ‘Yes, my lord.’ And he replied to me, ‘I have been sent to show you three ways, and to put before you three problems. If you can solve one of them for me, then I will show you the way you desire to see, and will teach you why the heart is evil.’ I said, ‘Speak, my lord.’ And he said to me, ‘Go, weigh for me the weight of fire, or measure for me a blast* of wind, or call back for me the day that is past.’ I answered and said, ‘Who of those that have been born can do that, that you should ask me about such things?’ And he said to me, ‘If I had asked you, “How many dwellings are in the heart of the sea, or how many streams are at the source of the deep, or how many streams are above the firmament, or which are the exits of Hades, or which are the entrances* of paradise?” perhaps you would have said to me, “I never went down into the deep, nor as yet into Hades, neither did I ever ascend into heaven.” But now I have asked you only about fire and wind and the day—things that you have experienced and from which you cannot be separated, and you have given me no answer about them.’ (2 Esdras 4:1-9; Apocrypha)


The firmament has fire, sun, moon, stars and winds; it exists through all these things together and by their properties it is strengthened so that it does not fall apart. Just as the soul holds the whole of the human body, so also the winds hold together all of the firmament to prevent it from disintegrating. And they are invisible, just as the soul is invisible emerging from the mystery of God. And like the house that will not stand without cornerstones, so also the firmament, earth, abyss and the whole world with all its components cannot exist without these winds, because they bring all these things together and hold them together. The whole world would break up and fall apart if these winds did not exist; in the same way the human body would fall apart if it did not have its bones. The main east wind holds together all the eastern region; the main west wind holds together all the western region; the main south wind holds together all the southern region; and the main north wind holds together all the northern region.

The four cardinal winds support the firmament below and above the level of the sun. They hold together the whole cosmos from the lower to the upper part of the firmament and cover it like a cloak. The east wind embraces the air and dispenses gentle moisture to the dry regions. The west wind mingles with the floating clouds, to sustain the waters and prevent them from bursting forth. The south wind keeps the fire under its control and prevents it from burning up everything. The north wind controls the outer areas of darkness, so that they do not exceed their measure. These four winds are the wings of the power of God. If they were all set in motion at the same time they would confuse the elements and break apart; they would agitate the sea and dry up all the waters (Causes and Cures I). 

Chant Prayer


You blissful soul,

whose body,

born of earth, 

you trod down in the pilgrimage

of this world.

Thus by divine rationality,

which made you its own mirror,

you have been crowned.

The Holy Spirit, moreover, was wont to gaze

upon you as its own dwelling-place.

Thus by divine rationality,

which made you its own mirror,

you have been crowned.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. (Trans. Peter Dronke) 

September 3

The Lord said to me (Ezra], ‘At the beginning of the circle of the earth, before* the portals of the world were in place, and before the assembled winds blew, and before the rumblings of thunder sounded, and before the flashes of lightning shone, and before the foundations of paradise were laid, and before the beautiful flowers were seen, and before the powers of movements were established, and before the innumerable hosts of angels were gathered together, and before the heights of the air were lifted up, and before the measures of the firmaments were named, and before the footstool of Zion was established, and before the present years were reckoned and before the imaginations of those who now sin were estranged, and before those who stored up treasures of faith were sealed— then I planned these things, and they were made through me alone and not through another; just as the end shall come through me alone and not through another.’  (2 Esdras 6:1-6; Apocrypha)


The east wind has two wings through which it attracts the globe of the sun to itself. In this way one wing contains the course of the sun from the heights to the depths, and the other wing runs towards the sun so that it is an obstacle to it to prevent it from moving in another direction from where it was intended to move. And this wind brings all kinds of moisture and brings about all kinds of germinations. The west wind could be compared to a mouth to convey and dispense all the waters, so that it divides and disperses all the waters onto their right paths in order that no water may rise above the other but will run its course correctly. In fact this wind has power over the air which bears the waters. It drives out all greenness and anything with which it comes into contact. The south wind is like a kind of iron rod with three branches at the top and a sharp point at the bottom. Its strength is like steel so strong that it can restrain both the firmament and the abyss. For just as steel overcomes and supersedes all other metals, and just as the heart strengthens the human being, so the strength of this wind contains the firmament and the abyss of this region so that it does not collapse.

And at the top it has three strengths like three branches, one of which tempers the sun as it rises, another suppresses the sun’s heat in the middle of the day, while a third cools the sun’s heat as it sets; in this way it does not exceed its normal function in those regions. It is sharply pointed at the bottom because its strength is also fixed in the abyss so that the moisture and the cold do not rise up beyond all moderation. The same wind brings all growing things to maturity: it causes the ripening of the leaves in the trees and the grass, the crops, the apples and all the other fruits of the earth. 

The north wind is like four pillars which hold together all the firmament and all the abyss. When it removes its pillars on the last day then the firmament will fold up on itself and fall into the abyss. These four pillars contain the four elements, which are closely connected, confined and as it were supported by the pillars so that they do not fall. When on the last day this wind moves the four pillars by its strength, then the firmament will be folded like a book. And this wind is cold, and bears the cold with it. Using its cold it constrains all things and at the same time holds them together so that they do not fall apart.

Chant Prayer


How wondrous is
the prescience of the divine Heart
that foreknew every creature!
For when God gazed
into the face of the human being whom he formed,
he beheld all his works,
in that same human form, entire.
How wondrous is the informing breath
that awoke mankind in this way!  (Trans. Peter Dronke) 

September 4

I [Ezra] said, ‘O Lord, you spoke at the beginning of creation, and said on the first day, “Let heaven and earth be made”, and your word accomplished the work. Then the spirit was blowing, and darkness and silence embraced everything; the sound of human voices was not yet there.* Then you commanded a ray of light to be brought out from your store-chambers, so that your works could be seen. ‘Again, on the second day, you created the spirit of the firmament, and commanded it to divide and separate the waters, so that one part might move upwards and the other part remain beneath. ‘On the third day you commanded the waters to be gathered together in a seventh part of the earth; six parts you dried up and kept so that some of them might be planted and cultivated and be of service before you. For your word went forth, and at once the work was done. Immediately fruit came forth in endless abundance and of varied appeal to the taste, and flowers of inimitable colour, and odours of inexpressible fragrance. These were made on the third day. (2 Esdras 6:38-44; Apocrypha)


In its revolving the firmament emits marvellous sounds, which we nevertheless cannot hear because of its great height and expanse; likewise a millwheel or cartwheel gives off sounds when it turns. But the firmament is at such a height and expanse above the earth so that it does not destroy the people and animals upon the earth; therefore it is far enough away, for if it were any nearer the humans and animals would perish by the fire and winds and by the water and the clouds. As body and soul are one and support each other, in the same way the planets with the firmament confirm each other and strengthen each other. And like the soul that enlivens and strengthens the body, the sun – with the moon and the other stars – warms and strengthens the firmament with its fire. Thus the firmament is like a human head; the sun, moon and stars are the eyes; the air is our sense of hearing, the winds our sense of smell, the dew our taste; the sides of the cosmos are like our arms and our sense of touch. And the other creatures that are in the world are like our stomach, but the earth is our heart. As the heart holds the body together from top to bottom so the earth is a secure land for the waters on its surface and a firm resistance to the waters beneath the earth to prevent them from wrongly breaking out.

Chant Prayer

To the Trinity be praise!
God is music, God is life
that nurtures every creature in its kind.
Our God is the song of the angel throng
and the splendor of secret ways
hid from all humankind,
But God our life is the life of all.

Laus Trinitati / Antiphon for the Trinity (Trans. Barbara Newman)

September 5

‘On the fourth day you commanded the brightness of the sun, the light of the moon, and the arrangement of the stars to come into being; and you commanded them to serve humankind, about to be formed. ‘On the fifth day you commanded the seventh part, where the water had been gathered together, to bring forth living creatures, birds, and fishes; and so it was done. 48The dumb and lifeless water produced living creatures, as it was commanded, so that therefore the nations might declare your wondrous works. ‘On the sixth day you commanded the earth to bring forth before you cattle, wild animals, and creeping things; and over these you placed Adam, as ruler over all the works that you had made; and from him we have all come, the people whom you have chosen. (2 Esdras 6:45-54; Apocrypha)


And the sun, as was said before, is positioned at the highest point and so to speak in the middle of the firmament; and it is fiery and airy. It holds with its fire every support and foundation of the firmament-along with the air, the luminaries, the stars and clouds – to prevent them from falling and dispersing. The sun also strengthens the ether. When the sun stands at the height of the firmament, fire and energy run to it and act as its servants. The sun strengthens all the firmament and scatters its brightness over the whole of the earth, causing it to bring forth green vigour of fruitfulness. During this period, the days are long because the sun is running its course at the height of the firmament, and it is summer. But when the sun drops closer to the earth, the cold of the earth runs to it from the water and causes all green things to dry up. And because the sun has dropped closer to the earth, the days are short, and it is winter. Also the sun’s heat is greater in winter below the earth than it is above it; and if the cold were as great below as above, or if in summer the heat were the same below the earth as above, then the earth would break apart from immoderation. When winter is approaching, the tempests rise from the water and darken the light of the sun; the days will therefore be darker. But when summer is approaching, the storms fall below the earth, so that the days are often beautiful and bright because summer is here. The sun is whole and full in its orbit and does not fade; and it sends its light to the moon when it moves towards it just as a man sends his seed into a woman. (Causes and Cures I)

Chant Prayer

Oh, we are strangers here!
What have we done, straying to realms of sin?
We should have been daughters of the King,
but we have fallen into the shadow of sins.
O living Sun, carry us on your shoulders
back to that most just heritage
we lost in Adam!
King of kings, we are fighting in your battle. (Trans. Peter Dronke) 

September 6

The pride of the higher realms is the clear vault of the sky,
   as glorious to behold as the sight of the heavens. 

The sun, when it appears, proclaims as it rises
   what a marvellous instrument it is, the work of the Most High.
 At noon it parches the land,
   and who can withstand its burning heat?
 A man tending a furnace works in burning heat,
   but three times as hot is the sun scorching the mountains;
it breathes out fiery vapours,
   and its bright rays blind the eyes.
 Great is the Lord who made it;
   at his orders it hurries on its course. 

It is the moon that marks the changing seasons,
   governing the times, their everlasting sign.
 From the moon comes the sign for festal days,
   a light that wanes when it completes its course.
 The new moon, as its name suggests, renews itself;
   how marvellous it is in this change,
a beacon to the hosts on high,
   shining in the vault of the heavens! (Ecclesiasticus 43:1-8) 


The moon is made of fire and thin air; it is situated in the air and has its habitat there, and the air is strengthened by the moon. After it has waned, the moon passes beneath the sun, from which a sphere is extended that attracts the moon closer to it, like a lodestone attracting iron to it. The sun then kindles fire in the moon, although the other planets and stars and the air and other heavenly bodies surrounding the moon burn towards it and contribute to the process of ignition. After it has been lit, the moon gradually waxes to its fullness like fire wood or a burning house, gradually catching fire until all of it is in flames. In the meantime, as the moon waxes to fullness, the sun strengthens the higher parts of the firmament, never ceasing from its task. The sun precedes and accompanies the day because the higher firmament is bright, while the moon precedes and accompanies the night because the earth is dark. After the moon is full so that it becomes like a pregnant woman, it sends forth its light and passes it on to the stars; in this way the stars are made brighter. 

Sometimes an eclipse of the moon is seen when the elements and the storms collide as though they had a conflict among them. On these occasions the moon is darkened by the storms for a period rather than waning or being extinguished. But the force of the moon is such that it can overcome these storms and send out its splendour again, because the force of the moon is greater than the force of these storms. There are also five planets, which have their light from the fire and from the ether; they are the support and strength of the firmament. They have their orbits in the heights and depths of the firmament where the sun’s rays do not reach and where its splendour is hardly shown. Wherever they are situated and wherever they move to they also serve the sun in its orbit, restraining the sun’s speed and causing its fire to diminish in such a way that because of the planets, the sun does not send out such burning heat as it would do if they did not restrain it. And just as the five senses of the human body hold it together and are its ornaments, so also the five planets contain the sun and are its beauty.

Chant Prayer

Charity abounds in all things,
from the depths to high above the highest stars,
and is most loving to all things;
for to the high king it has given the kiss of peace. (Trans. Lawrence Rosenwald)

September 7

The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven,
   a glittering array in the heights of the Lord.
 On the orders of the Holy One they stand in their appointed places;
   they never relax in their watches.
 Look at the rainbow, and praise him who made it;
   it is exceedingly beautiful in its brightness. 

 It encircles the sky with its glorious arc;
   the hands of the Most High have stretched it out. (Ecclesiasticus 43:9-12)


Grouped around the sun are various stars of such strength and brightness that they are like mountains in the way they reach down through the firmament to the earth, and the closer they are to the earth, the brighter they seem to be. Round the sun also there are other stars of lesser strength and brightness; these are like low valleys in comparison to the majesty of those other luminaries and they therefore appear smaller.

But when the stars appear at night, then burning spheres and projectiles are sometimes seen flying in the air. The explanation is that the stars are sending their fire and energy into the air in order to strengthen it, and the air then makes the earth fruitful with its heat. Therefore also the air is often seen purging itself with the fire and heat of the stars so that its impurities fall from it like dregs. Similarly, when summer and winter separate so that either summer recedes and winter arrives or winter recedes and summer arrives, then a certain mixed substance appears, flying in the air, like a whiteness of threads, where the air is purifying itself. This descends to the earth owing to the collision of summer and winter, that is, when the two seasons come into conflict with each other. 

Then also, from the same heat [of the moon], the stars heat the air and strengthen it, and the warm air gives off it moisture as dew, sends it onto the earth and so makes it fertile. And so the earth is watered and produces fruits. For while the moon is emptying itself and so passing its light to the stars, and while it is waxing to fullness when kindled by the sun, the stars gradually send out their light and warmth, which they have received from the moon, into the air in order to warm it and strengthen it. The air exudes its moisture onto the earth in order to make it fertile, so that when the moon is full again, the stars are again empty and ready to receive new light and heat from it. And when the moon wanes, the stars are full in order to strengthen the air and the earth. And the stars wane so that the moon will again be full. (Causes and Cures I)

Chant Prayer

O glittering starlight,
O most splendid and special form
of regal marriage,
O shining gem:
you are adorned like a noble lady
who has no blemish.
And you are a companion of angels
and a citizen among the saints.
Flee, O flee the cave
of the old betrayer
and come, O come into the king’s palace. (Trans. Lawrence Rosenwald)