Religion / Spirituality

Listen to the Spirit


Butterfly on lantana by Dana YoungI was looking through some boxes of books in our basement and came across Let There Be Light: Based on the Visionary Spirituality of Hildegard of Bingen. It had been given to my husband by a Sister of Mercy he used to work for at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and it is a 30 day meditation on the mystical writings of Abbess Hildegard.

I’ve been intrigued by Hildegard’s life, extensive knowledge of natural healing and her mystical teachings, so I’ve decided to devote the next month to this daily contemplative practice, which bookends quite well with the Centering Prayer I have also been exploring.
I began the book yesterday, a day full of emotional landmines – unsettling feelings, arguments, and a deep soul weariness. Part of me just wanted to run and hide. But, what better time is there to seek the presence of God?

…I saw

a blazing fire,

incomprehensible, inextinguishable,

totally alive, Life itself.

What struck me about the the meditation I read was how, even though we perceive ourselves to be lacking courage or insight, God is always at work, shaping us from within, helping us realize the truth of Divine love. Just as important, God is also finding ways to help us see how we play a part in embodying Divine love to the world and in our relationships.

We should not, as Hildegard says, be “ashamed to speak the truth” and share with others what we understand to be true – that God is “Life itself.” There is fear, of course, in speaking the truth (especially for women, in Hildegard’s time and even now) but God can empower anyone to experience the Holy Spirit breathing the blazing fire of life into the small spaces of the heart.

Every day that I sit in prayer or meditation and work on letting go feels like an act of courage. Every day that I speak more about what I know to be true about God’s love both excites and frightens me. Every day, I am surrendering a little bit more in order to create the space for the Holy Spirit to enter, igniting my heart with inextinguishable love.

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