Writings of
St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
on the Holy Spirit Wisdom

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Oh children of humanity, why have you corrupted tender Love, who gazes far into my depths and flows forth in works abounding? Because She flows within me, from Her in turn flow the living waters. She resembles a budding branch, for, as a virgin's embraces are most tender because of her integrity, even so Love's embraces are more tender than those of any other. But now She mourns, because audacious men tear her to pieces with their evil grumbling. Hence, She flees from them to that height whence She came, and weeps because Her children, whom She suckled at Her fertile breasts, fall sick and will not be cleansed from the corruption of their flighty minds.

O wretched humanity! Why do they take on themselves the misery of alienation and exile, tearing themselves away... She is always ready... Yet they separate themselves from the Bride, whence they are darkened and shadowed by clouds as if they had ruptured heaven.

The Holy Spirit as Caritas (Grace/World Soul) 
St. Hildegard von Bingen 
trans. B. Newman (mod.)

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I heard a voice saying to me, "This Lady whom you see is Love, who has Her dwelling place in eternity. When God wished to create the world, He leaned down, and with tender Love, provided all that was needed, as a parent prepares an inheritance for a child. And thus, in a mighty blaze the Lord ordained all His works.

Then creation recognized its Creator in its own forms and appearances. For in the beginning, when God said, "Let it be!" and it came to pass, the means and the Matrix of creation was Love, because all creation was formed through Her as in the twinkling of an eye.

The Holy Spirit as Sapientia (Wisdom/Creatrix)
St. Hildegard von Bingen 
trans. B. Newman (mod.)

* * *

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.

The Holy Spirit as Caritas (Grace/World Soul & Wisdom/Creatrix) 
St. Hildegard von Bingen 
trans. B. Newman (mod.)

* * *

May the Holy Spirit cleanse you from all faults of malice, and win you the friendship of Love, most sweet, most tender; who captured the mighty Stag and poured forth song above all heavens; who entered the bridal chamber of all the King's mysteries; and who revealed Herself in all Her beauty in the mirror of the Cherubim.

The Holy Spirit as Caritas (Grace/World Soul) 
St. Hildegard von Bingen 
trans. B. Newman (mod.)

* * *

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 verdure 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 (Grace/World Soul) 
St. Hildegard von Bingen 
trans. B. Newman (mod.)

* * *

She is Divine Wisdom. She watches over all people and all things in heaven and on earth, being of such radiance and brightness that, for the measureless splendor that shines in Her, you cannot gaze on Her face or on the garments She wears. For She is awesome in terror as the Thunderer's lightening, and gentle in goodness as the sunshine. Hence, in Her terror and Her gentleness, She is incomprehensible to mortals, because of the dread radiance of divinity in Her face and the brightness that dwells in Her as the robe of Her beauty. She is like the Sun, which none can contemplate in its blazing face or in the glorious garment of its rays. For She is with all and in all, and of beauty so great in Her mystery that no one could know how sweetly She bears with people, and with what unfathomable mercy She spares them.

The Holy Spirit as Wisdom: Scientia Dei (Knowledge of God) 
St. Hildegard von Bingen 
trans. B. Newman (mod.)

[Primary source: B. Newman, Sister of Wisdom: St. Hildegard's Theology of the Feminine (1987).  See also L. Boff, O.F.M., The Maternal Face of God (1987); F. Bowie & O. Davies,  Eds., Hildegard of Bingen: Mystical Writings (1990); E. Johnson, C.S.J., Women, Earth, and Creator Spirit (1993); C. Matthews, Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom (1991); B. M. Meehan, S.S.C., Delighting in the Feminine Divine (1994); B. M. Meehan, S.S.C., Exploring the Feminine Face of God: A Prayerful Journey (1991); T. Schipflinger, Sophia-Maria (1998); G. Uhlein, O.S.F., Meditations with Hildegard of Bingen (1983).]