Season of Creation with St. Hildegard of Bingen (Days 20-21)
September 20, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.



[Having concluded the broad sweep of Hildegard’s teaching on the various elements of creation and their recreation in Christ, there begins here a series of visions that could be variously interpreted as referring to personified Wisdom (Sophia) or to the Holy Spirit who act as agents of creation.]
September 20
 ‘O God of my ancestors and Lord of mercy,
who have made all things by your word,
and by your wisdom have formed humankind
to have dominion over the creatures you have made,
and rule the world in holiness and righteousness,
and pronounce judgement in uprightness of soul,
give me the wisdom that sits by your throne,
and do not reject me from among your servants.
With you is wisdom, she who knows your works
and was present when you made the world;
she understands what is pleasing in your sight
and what is right according to your commandments.
Send her forth from the holy heavens,
and from the throne of your glory send her,
that she may labour at my side,
and that I may learn what is pleasing to you.
For she knows and understands all things,
and she will guide me wisely in my actions
and guard me with her glory.
For who can learn the counsel of God?
Or who can discern what the Lord wills?
For the reasoning of mortals is worthless,
and our designs are likely to fail;
for a perishable body weighs down the soul,
and this earthy tent burdens the thoughtful[c] mind.
We can hardly guess at what is on earth,
and what is at hand we find with labour;
but who has traced out what is in the heavens?
Who has learned your counsel,
unless you have given wisdom
and sent your holy spirit from on high?
And thus the paths of those on earth were set right,
and people were taught what pleases you,

and were saved by wisdom.’ (Wisdom 9:1-4, 10-11, 13-18)


I saw as amid the airs of the South in the mystery of God a beautiful and marvellous image of a human figure; her face was of such beauty and brightness that I could more easily have stared at the sun. On her head she had a broad band of gold. And in that golden band above her head there appeared a second face, like an old man, whose chin and beard touched the top of the first head. Wings protruded from behind the neck of the figure on either side, and rising up clear of the golden band their tips met and joined overhead. On the right, above the sweep of the wing, was an image of an eagle’s head, and I saw it had eyes of fire in which there appeared the brilliance of angels as in a mirror. On the left, above the sweep of the wing, was the image of a human face, which shone like the brightness of the stars. These faces were turned towards the East. But from each of her shoulders, a wing extended down to the knee. And she wore a tunic like the glory of the sun and in her hands she carried a lamb like the bright light of day. But beneath her feet she trampled a monster of dreadful appearance, black and venomous, and also a serpent, which had fixed its teeth into the right ear of the monster and wound the rest of its body across its own head, and had stretched its tail on the left side. (The Book of Divine Works I, 1)

Chant Prayer

Hail Mary,
O source of life
in rebuilding salvation, 
who have shaken death
and trodden down the serpent 
to which Eve reached up, 
her neck high
with the breath of pride.
You have trampled down that serpent
in giving birth to God’s son from heaven,
whom the spirit of God 
breathed into you.
O dearest and most loving mother, 
who have given to the world
your son sent from heaven,
whom the spirit of God 
breathed into you.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son 
and to the Holy Spirit.
Whom the spirit of God 
breathed into you. (Trans. Lawrence Rosenwald)

September 21

Wisdom has built her house,
   she has hewn her seven pillars. 
 She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
   she has also set her table. 
 She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
   from the highest places in the town, 
 ‘You that are simple, turn in here!’
   To those without sense she says, 
 ‘Come, eat of my bread
   and drink of the wine I have mixed. 
 Lay aside immaturity,* and live,
   and walk in the way of insight.’ (Proverbs 9:1-6)

The figure spoke: I am the supreme fire and energy. I have kindled all the sparks of the living, and I have breathed out no mortal things, for I judge them as they are. I have properly ordained the cosmos, flying about the circling circle with my upper wings, that is with wisdom. I am the fiery life of divine substance, I blaze above the beauty of the fields, I shine in the waters, I burn in sun, moon, and stars. And I awaken all to life with every wind of the air, as with invisible life that sustains everything. For the air lives in greenness and fecundity. The waters flow as though they are alive. The sun also lives in its own light, and when the moon has waned it is rekindled by the light of the sun and thus lives again; and the stars shine out in their own light as though they are alive.
I established the pillars that support the whole circle of the earth. I made the winds, and, subject to them, the wings of the winds, which are lesser winds. Through their gentle force, these contain the stronger winds and prevent them from showing their full strength with great danger; in the same way the body covers the soul and contains it lest it breathe out and expire. And conversely also, just as the breath of the soul strengthens and sustains the body so that it does not weaken, in the same way the stronger winds energize the subsidiary winds to carry out their appropriate tasks.
Thus I am concealed in things as fiery energy. They are ablaze through me, like the breath that ceaselessly enlivens the human being, or like the wind-tossed flame in a fire. All these things live in their essence, and there is no death in them, for I am life. I also am rationality, who holds the breath of the resonant word by which the whole of creation was created; and I have breathed life into everything, so that nothing by its nature may be mortal, for I am life. And I am life: not the life struck from stone, or blossoming from branches, or rooted in a man’s fertility, but life in its fullness, for all living things have their roots in me. Reason is the root, through which the resonant word flourishes. (The Book of Divine Works I, 2)
Chant Prayer
O fire of the Paraclete,
the life of every creature’s life:
you are holy in giving life to forms.
You are holy in anointing 
the severely injured,
holy in cleansing
loathsome wounds.
O vent of holiness,
fire of charity,
O sweet taste in our bodies 
and infusion in our hearts
of the fragrance of all virtues.
O clearest fountain,
in which is shown
how God gathers together those who wander 
and seeks those who are lost.
O shield of life
and hope of all our limbs’ union, 
O belt of honor:
save those who are blessed.
Guard those who have been imprisoned 
by the enemy,
release those in bondage
whom divine power wills to save.
O boldest path,
penetrating into all places, 
on high and on earth,
and in every abyss:
you fit and gather all together.
From you the clouds issue and the air soars, 
the rock have their humors
and the waters bring forth their streams
and the earth sweats out green things growing.