Dear Fellow Mystics,

Thank you for blessing us with your presence honoring Hildegard of Bingen’s 900th birthday for our Divine Feminine Big Sit on Zoom last Saturday. We are thankful to center with our fellow contemplatives from places far and wide, forming a beautiful community.

You can access the 2-hour recording here

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Attached is a PDF file of the slide deck we used today.

Click here for our opening Taizẻ video song Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit)

Scripture readings for Lectio Divina

Main reading:

For wisdom is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God's majesty, and the image of his goodness. And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself the same, she renews all things, and through nations conveys herself into holy souls, whom she makes the friends of God and prophets. Wisdom 7:26-27  

Ending reading from first Centering Prayer period:

She reaches from end to end mightily, and governs all things well. Her closeness to God leads us to her noble birth, since the Lord of all has loved her. She is the initiate in the mysteries of God’s knowledge….If in this life wealth be a desirable possession, what is more wealthy than Wisdom, whose work is everywhere.  Wisdom 8: 1-5.

Second Centering Prayer Period

Opening Reading from Hildegard:

I, God, am in your midst. Whoever knows me can never fall. Not in the heights, nor in the depths, nor in the breadths. For I am love which the vast expanses of evil can never still. 

Closing Reading from Hildegard: 

Everything that is in the heavens, on earth and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness. 

Short Biography of Hildegard of Bingen:

Named the Sybil of the Rhine as well as Doctor of the Church, Hildegard was a German Benedictine abbess who lived from 1098 to 1179.  Her mystical experiences began at an early age and influenced her to become a philosopher, mystic, and visionary, where her works continue to inspire us today about the magnificence of God. Founding and leading monasteries was only one of her gifts. Her skills and expertise shone in all areas of study. She wrote theological and mystical works and plays. She researched plants and cured many people with medicines she derived from plants. She composed sacred music that is popular today. 

Excerpts of Hildegard’s writings:

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

God says, “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.“

God says, “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.“

God says, “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.”

O Wisdom, you brought forth a new juice from the earth…O you, fire of the Spirit, Paraclete, life of the life of every living being. Holy are you for giving life to all forms, O mightiest Way, you have penetrated all things on high and on earth… 

There is music of heaven in all things.

We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others.

Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.

The mystery of God embraces us in its all-encompassing arms.

Every creature is a glittering, glistening mirror of divinity.

Be not lax celebrating. Be not lazy in the festive service of God. Be ablaze with enthusiasm. Let us be an alive, burning offering before the altar of God.

I, God, am in your midst. Whoever knows me can never fall. Not in the heights, nor in the depths, nor in the breadths. For I am love which the vast expanses of evil can never still.

Everything that is in the heavens, on earth and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.

Like billowing clouds, like the incessant gurgle of the brook, the longing of the spirit can never be stilled.

Because a woman brought death, a bright maiden overcame it, and so the highest blessing in all creation lies in the form of a woman, since God became human in a sweet and blessed virgin.

Holy living will be renewed among all peoples when the princes, together with the rest of the people, will rightly ordain God’s justice and forbid all weapons that have been prepared to harm human beings. 

Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth and its greenings. Now think what delight God gives to all humans with all these things. All nature is at the disposal of humans. We are to work with it. For without it we cannot survive.

The earth which sustains human beings must not be injured. It must not be destroyed.

The high, the low of creation, God gives to human beings to use. If the privilege is misused, God’s justice permits creation to punish humanity.

We shall awaken from our dullness and rise vigorously toward justice. If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper, we will respond to its endangerment with passion.

Final Blessing from Hildegard:

A blessing from Hildegard: Beloved God, may we know your mystery embraces us in all-encompassing arms. May we hear the music of heaven in all things. May we live in awareness of every creature being a glittering, glistening mirror of your divinity. May we not be lax in celebrating. May we not be lazy in the festive service of you. May we be ablaze with enthusiasm. May we be an alive, burning offering before your altar. Unite us on one life-giving path to praise you, beloved Wisdom. Amen

Hildegard’s song O Virtus Sapientiae (O Strength of Wisdom)

Watch Karen Clark perform it here. Here is the English translation:

          O strength of wisdom
          Who circling, circled 
          Uniting all
          In one lifegiving path
          Three wings you have:
          One soars to the heights,
          One pours its essence upon the earth
          And the third flies everywhere
          Praise to you, as is fitting,
          O Wisdom

We hope you can join us at these upcoming events:

September 10, 2022 - Body Presence and Contemplative Awareness: BioSpiritual Focusing Day of Presence on Zoom with Mike Smoolca. Register here.

October 12-16, 2022 - Intensive/Post-Intensive Five-Day Two-Track Retreat on Zoom with Vernon Dixon and Maggie Winfrey. Register here.

We deeply appreciate your donations of any amount to our nonprofit chapter of Contemplative Outreach Ltd. They help defray our technology costs. You can donate here on our website. Thank you. 

We look forward to centering with you in the future. If you have any questions, email us here.

We are all one,

Julie Gordon, Jenny Ham, Bill Moon, Maribel Valenzuela, Chris Thompson, and Maggie Winfrey                                                                                     
Contemplative Outreach Atlanta Team

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