Season of Creation with St. Hildegard of Bingen (Days 8-14)
September 08, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

September 8 (Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

She [Wisdom] reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well. I loved her and sought her from my youth; I desired to take her for my bride, and became enamoured of her beauty. She glorifies her noble birth by living with God, and the Lord of all loves her. For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, and an associate in his works. And if anyone loves righteousness, her labours are virtues; for she teaches self-control and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for mortals than these. When I enter my house, I shall find rest with her; for companionship with her has no bitterness, and life with her has no pain, but gladness and joy. When I considered these things inwardly, and pondered in my heart that in kinship with wisdom there is immortality, and in friendship with her, pure delight, and in the labours of her hands, unfailing wealth, and in the experience of her company, understanding, and renown in sharing her words. I went about seeking how to get her for myself (Wisdom 8: 1-4,7, 16-18).


In a true vision of the spirit in a waking state, I saw the likeness of a beautiful girl shining with a splendour so bright that I could not look upon her properly. She had a cloak whiter than snow and brighter than a star. She wore shoes as of purest gold. And she had in her right hand the sun and the moon, gently embracing them. On her breast was an ivory tablet in which there appeared the image of a human being coloured sapphire blue. And the whole of creation acknowledged the beautiful girl as their sovereign Lady. And she said to the image on her breast: ‘With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength, in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the daystar I begot thee.’ And I heard a voice saying these things to me. The girl you see is Love, who has her dwelling in eternity. For when God wanted to create the world, he inclined himself in the sweetest affection, and foresaw all things necessary, just as a father provides an inheritance for his son; and in this way he ordered all his works in a great burning fire of love. Then every creature in every species and form acknowledged its Creator; for in the beginning Love was the base matter from which all creatures came. And God said ‘Let it be done’, and it was done, for every creature was made through Love in the twinkling of an eye. ‘The likeness of a beautiful girl is shining with a splendour so bright that you cannot not look upon her properly.’ This is because she reveals the fear of the Lord in such pure knowledge that mortal humanity cannot fathom it completely. And she has ‘a cloak whiter than snow and brighter than a star’, because, in her pure white innocence without guile, she cloaks all things with the most splendid works of the saints.

‘She wears shoes as of purest gold’, because she has paths in the best part of God’s election. ‘She had in her right hand the sun and the moon, gently embracing them’, because the right hand of God embraces all creatures and extends further to nations, kingdoms, and all good things. Therefore it is written, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand.’ ‘On her breast is an ivory tablet’, because in the knowledge of God, the earth of wholeness flourished in the Virgin Mary. And in it ‘there appeared an image of a human being coloured sapphire blue’, because the Son of God shone forth in charity from the ancient of days. ‘And the whole of creation acknowledged the beautiful girl as their sovereign Lady.’ It all comes from her because she was the First One creating all things, just as the image on her breast shows that God clothed himself in humanity for the sake of humanity. For when all creation was fulfilled by the command of God – just as he said ‘Increase and multiply and fill the earth’ – then the heat of the true sun descended like dew into the Maiden’s womb, and from her flesh he made humankind just as he formed Adam in flesh and blood from the clay of the earth. And the Maiden gave birth to him in her wholeness. (Letter to Abbot Adam of Ebrach).

Chant Prayer


O branch of freshest green,

O hail! Within the windy gusts of saints

upon a quest you swayed and sprouted forth.

When it was time, you blossomed in your boughs—

“Hail, hail!” you heard, for in you seeped the sunlight’s warmth

like balsam’s sweet perfume.

For in you bloomed

so beautiful a flow’r, whose fragrance wakened

all the spices from their dried-out stupor.

They all appeared in full viridity.

Then rained the heavens dew upon the grass

and all the earth was cheered,

for from her womb she brought forth fruit

and for the birds up in the sky

have nests in her.

Then was prepared that food for humankind,

the greatest joy of feasts!

O Virgin sweet, in you can ne’er fail any joy.

All this Eve chose to scorn.

But now, let praise ring forth unto the Highest! (trans. Nathaniel M. Campbell)

September 9

By God’s command he sends the driving snow
   and speeds the lightnings of his judgement.
 Therefore the storehouses are opened,
   and the clouds fly out like birds.
 In his majesty he gives the clouds their strength,
   and the hailstones are broken in pieces.
 The voice of his thunder rebukes the earth;
   when he appears, the mountains shake.
At his will the south wind blows;
   so do the storm from the north and the whirlwind.
He scatters the snow like birds flying down,
   and its descent is like locusts alighting.
 The eye is dazzled by the beauty of its whiteness,
   and the mind is amazed as it falls.
 He pours frost over the earth like salt,
   and icicles form like pointed thorns.
 The cold north wind blows,
   and ice freezes on the water;
it settles on every pool of water,
   and the water puts it on like a breastplate.
 He consumes the mountains and burns up the wilderness,
   and withers the tender grass like fire.
 A mist quickly heals all things;
   the falling dew gives refreshment from the heat. (Ecclesiasticus 43: 13-22)


If there is a greater heat and fervour of fire in the ether, then this heat causes a sudden rise and dangerous flooding of the waters, which it sends upon the earth, causing cloudbursts and storms. It is like the pot over a hot fire suddenly coming to the boil and frothing over. Frequently these storms occur according to God’s judgement because of wickedness, or because of evil deeds perpetrated by men, or as portents of future dangers such as war, famine, or sudden death. The reason is that all our actions affect the elements and are in turn disturbed and influenced by the elements. But if there is a lesser heat and fervour of fire in the ether, then it causes a much smaller rise and flooding of the waters; this is like a pot over a small fire which only produces a bare minimum of froth and bubbles. But when the air is temperate with fire and water then it sends forth moderate weather, just as a pan placed over a moderate fire gives off a mild heat. But when the sun rises up so that its fire burns vigorously in the height of the heavens, then also the air sometimes becomes dry and arid from the heat of the sun, and the fire of the sun sometimes affects the fire of the thunderstorm.

For in the thunder is the fire of judgement where there is both stench and cold. And whenever the fire of the thunder is affected by the fire of the sun it becomes agitated and sends out mild flashes of lightning. Some mild murmurings of thunder follow, and then they cease, like a man who is moved to anger but does not vent it fully because he checks and restrains it. Sometimes, however, the fire of the thunder is stirred by the great heat of the sun until it becomes so agitated that it sends out large and dangerous bolts of lightning, and raises its voice loudly, like a man who is moved to great anger and expresses it in violent behaviour. Again on occasions when the upper fire of the thunder is touched by the fire of the sun, the cold which is in the thunder unites in one place, just as water accumulates in one place as ice, and the cold transmits hail to the clouds, and the clouds gather it up and disperse it and send it out onto the earth. Hail is like the eye of the thunder. But when the sun becomes lower in winter, it does not transfer its fire to the height of the heavens, and it burns more when it is below the earth than it does above the earth, and it does not burn any longer in the height of the heavens. (Causes and Cures I)

Chant Prayer


O noblest greenness,
who have your roots in the sun,
and who shine in bright serenity
on the wheel,
whom no earthly excellence
You are held all around
by the embraces of the divine mysteries.
You glow red like the dawn,
and you burn like the sun’s fire.
You are held all around ...  (Trans. Lawrence Rosenwald) 

September 10

Ask the animals, and they will teach you;
   the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
   and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 

Who among all these does not know
   that the hand of the Lord has done this?
 In his hand is the life of every living thing
   and the breath of every human being.
 Does not the ear test words
   as the palate tastes food?
 Is wisdom with the aged,
   and understanding in length of days?
 ‘With God are wisdom and strength;
   he has counsel and understanding (Job 12:7-13)


No creature can be so stupid by nature that it is ignorant of all the causes and relationships which make up its fruitfulness and fertility. And how is this? The sky has light, the light air, the air birds; the earth nourishes the greenness, the greenness the fruit, the fruit the animals; all testify that they were established by a mighty hand – the great power of the Lord of all, who through the force of his strength has worked all things so that none may fail in their usefulness. All creatures live and move in the omnipotence of the Creator, not only those who seek the earth and earthly things as do cattle, which do not have rationality by the inspiration of God, but also those who inhabit human flesh in which they partake of rationality, power of discernment, and wisdom.

How is this? The soul encircles earthly matters, at work through the many changes that fleshly customs demand of it. But the spirit raises itself up in two ways: on the one hand by heaving sighs, groanings and desires for God, on the other by seeking as it were through commands to exercise sovereignty, influence and autonomy in various areas, because through reason the spirit has the power of discernment. Therefore, also, the human being contains the likeness of heaven and earth within her. How does this come about? The human creature contains a circle in which there appear the qualities of discernment, breath of life and rationality, just as in the heavens there are stars, air and birds. Likewise, the human creature contains a receptacle in which there appear the moisture of the humours, germination and parturition, just as on earth there is greenness, fruitfulness and animals. What does this mean? Human creature! You are a wholeness in every created thing and yet you forget your creator! All things subject to you obey their creator as they were made to. But only you desire to transgress his commandments? (Scivias II,1,2).

Chant Prayer

Power of Wisdom,
circling all things,
comprehending all things,
on one path, which has life.
Three wings:
one soars in the height,
one exudes from the earth,
one soars everywhere.
Praise to you, as befits you, Wisdom.

September 11

Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’  So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-31)


“Thou hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands.” This means that you, O God, have wonderfully created all things. You have crowned the human being with the splendid golden crown of the understanding and clothed him with the honourable robe of visible beauty. You have made him the ruler over your exalted and perfect works, which you have distributed justly and well throughout your creation. Over all other creatures you have granted the human being high worth and admirable dignity. (Scivias I,3)

God has signified all creation in humankind, made in his image and likeness; and after the fall, he gathered them, renewed simply by love’s goodness through his Incarnation, into that blessedness that the fallen angel had lost.... When God said in the Word, “Let there be light!” (Gn 1:3), the rational light, that is, the angels, was created, and in the place of those that fell from blessedness, God made another rational life and clothed it with flesh, and this is humankind, which shall attain the place and glory of the fallen. (Book of Divine Works I 1:3,10):

Oh, why are you so foolish in your hearts, you who have been made in the image and likeness of God? How can such great glory and honor, which is given to you, exist without testing, as if it were an empty case of nothing? Gold must be tested in the fire, and precious stones, to smooth them, must be polished, and all things of this kind must be diligently scrutinized. Hence, O foolish humans, how can that which was made in the image and likeness of God exist without testing? For Man must be examined more than any other creature, and therefore he must be tested through every other creature. How?  Spirit is to be tested by spirit, flesh by flesh, earth by water, fire by cold, fight by resistance, good by evil, beauty by deformity, poverty by riches, sweetness by bitterness, health by sickness, long by short, hard by soft, height by depth, light by darkness, life by death, Paradise by punishments, the Heavenly Kingdom by Gehenna, earthly things by earthly things and heavenly things by heavenly things. Hence Man is tested by every creature, in Paradise, on earth and in Hell; and then he is placed in Heaven. You see clearly only a few things among many that are hidden from your eyes. So why do you deride what is right, plain and just, and good among all good things in the sight of God? Why do you think these things unjust? God is just, but the human race is unjust in transgressing God's precepts when it claims to be wiser than God. (Scivias II,29)

Chant Prayer


O power of eternity,
who have ordered all things in your heart:
by your word all things are created
as you have willed,
and your word itself
puts on flesh
in the form
that is drawn from Adam.
And so those garments
are wiped clean
by great pain.
O how great is the savior’s kindness,
who freed all things,
by that incarnation
which divinity breathed out,
unchained by sin.
And so those garments ...
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
And so those garments ...  (Trans. Lawrence Rosenwald)

September 12

Do not invite death by the error of your life, or bring on destruction by the works of your hands; because God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living.  For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion* of Hades is not on earth. For righteousness is immortal. (Wisdom 1:12-15)


The souls of those who embrace the path of rectitude with devout affection are aided by the celestial Helper; so that, because of the good works by which in the height of justice they strive for Heaven, the torment of perdition does not break them, for the true Light strengthens them in the fear and love of God. But after Adam and Eve were driven out of the place of delight, they knew in themselves the work of conceiving and bearing children. And falling thus from disobedience into death, when they knew they could sin, they discovered sin's sweetness.... Therefore I [Wisdom] took secret counsel within Myself, to send My Son for the redemption of humanity, that Man might be restored to the heavenly Jerusalem. And no iniquity could withstand this counsel, for My Son, coming into the world, gathered unto himself all who, forsaking sin, chose to hear and imitate Him. I am just and righteous, not willing the iniquity that you, O human, embrace when you know you can do evil. For Lucifer and Man each tried at the beginning of their creation to rebel against Me and could not stand firm, but fell away from good and chose evil. But Lucifer laid hold of total evil and rejected all good, and did not taste the good at all, but fell into death. Adam, however, tasted the good when he accepted obedience, but he longed for evil, and in his desire accomplished it by his disobedience to God, Why this happened is not for you, O human, to investigate; mortal cannot know what there was before the creation of the world or what may happen after the last day, but God alone knows this, except insofar as He permits His elect to know it. (Scivias II,15)

Chant Prayer


When creation came forth from the finger of God
fashioned in God’s image
created of mixed blood
along the exile-path of Adam’s fall:
then the elements received
the joys of life.
O Mary, worthy of praise.
As heavens shine red
they sound forth your praise. (Trans. Lawrence Rosenwald)

September 13

The creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:19-23)


When Man chose disobedience, rebelling against God and forsaking tranquillity for disquiet, that Creation, which had been created for the service of humanity, turned against humans in great and various ways so that Man, having lowered himself, might be held in check by it. What does this mean? That Man showed himself a rebel against God in the place of delights, and therefore that Creation, which had been subjected to him in service, now opposed itself to him.


But now, O human, you wish to investigate Heaven and earth, and to judge of their justice in God's disposition, and to know the highest things though you are not able to examine the lowest; for you do not know how you live in the body, or how you may be divested of the body. He Who created you in the first human foresaw all these things; but that same most gentle Father sent His Only-Begotten to die for the people, to deliver humanity from the power of the Devil. 


And thus Man, having been delivered, shines in God, and God in Man; Man, having community in God, has in Heaven more radiant brightness than he had before. This would not have been so if the Son of God had not put on flesh, for if Man had remained in Paradise, the Son of God would not have suffered on the cross. But when Man was deceived by the wily serpent, God was touched by true mercy and ordained that His Only-Begotten would become incarnate in the most pure Virgin. And thus after Man's ruin many shining virtues were lifted up in Heaven, like humility, the queen of virtues, which flowered in the virgin birth, and other virtues, which lead God's elect to the heavenly places. For when a field with great labor is cultivated, it brings forth much fruit, and the same is shown in the human race, for after humanity's ruin many virtues arose to raise it up again. But you, O humans, oppressed by the heaviness of the flesh, do not see that great glory God's full justice has prepared for you, without stain or unworthiness, so that no one can throw it down. For before the structure of the world was made, God in true justice had foreseen all these things. (Scivias II, 27,30-31)

Chant Prayer

Because, then, a woman prepared death,
an illustrious virgin now subdues it;
and thus the highest blessing
is found in female form,
rather than in any other creature.
For God is made human
in a lovely and blessed virgin. (Trans. Lawrence Rosenwald)

September 14 (Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross)

Then I [John] looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice,
‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!’
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing,
‘To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might
for ever and ever!’
And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ And the elders fell down and worshipped. (Revelation 5:11-14)


When the innocent Lamb was suspended on the cross, the elements trembled, because the most noble Son of the Virgin was slain in the body by the hands of murderers; by His death the lost sheep was brought back to the pastures of life. For the ancient persecutor saw that because of the blood of the innocent Lamb, which the Lamb had poured out in remission of the sins of humanity, he must lose that sheep, and only then first recognized who that Lamb was; previously he had not been able to understand how the Celestial Bread, without a man's semen and without any desire for sin, had become incarnate of the Virgin by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.  For that persecutor, when first he was created, raised himself up in the haughtiness of pride, throwing himself into death and expelling Man from the glory of Paradise; but God did not will to resist him by His power, but conquered him by humility through His Son. And because Lucifer derided God's justice, by God's just judgment he was unable to know the incarnation of God's Only-Begotten. For by this hidden decision the lost sheep was brought back to life. Therefore, O rebellious humans, why are you so hardhearted? God did not will to forsake humanity, but sent His Son for its salvation; thus God crushed the head of pride in the ancient serpent. For when Man was snatched from death, Hell opened its gates, and Satan cried, "Alas, alas, who will help me?" And the Devil's whole band was torn with great agitation, marvelling that there was a power so great they and their prince could not resist it, since they saw the souls of the faithful being taken away from them. Thus Man was lifted up above the heavens because through the Son of God God appeared in Man and Man in God. Likewise, that master who lost the sheep but brought it so gloriously back to life had, like that sheep, a precious pearl that slipped from him and fell into the mud. But he, not allowing it to lie in the dirt, mercifully drew it forth and purified it of the filth in which it had lain, as gold is purified in the furnace, and restored it to its former honor with even greater glory. For God created Man, but the latter at the Devil's instigation fell into death, from which the Son of God saved him by His blood and brought him gloriously to the glory of Heaven. And how? By humility and charity. (Scivias II,32)



O shepherd of souls,
O first voice
by which we have all been created:
may you, may you now be willing

to release us
from our miseries
and our frailties. (Trans. Lawrence Rosenwald)