Worship with Hildegard
WELCOME TO TODAY'S WORSHIP SERVICE
Feb. 7, 2010
Open your Bible
Here I Am, Lord
6In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.
5And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” 6Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”
9And he said, “Go and say to this people: ‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.’ 10Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.” 11Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate; 12until the Lord sends everyone far away, and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land. 13Even if a tenth part remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains standing when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump
Divine Love and Wisdom (Rogers) n. 115
115. But how the Lord is in an angel, and an angel in the Lord, cannot be comprehended unless one knows the nature of their conjunction. It is a conjunction of the Lord with the angel, and of the angel with the Lord. Consequently it is a reciprocal conjunction.
This conjunction on the part of the angel is as follows. An angel has no other perception than that he possesses love and wisdom of himself, like any person, and thus he feels as though love and wisdom are his as qualities belonging to him. If he did not have that perception, there would be no conjunction; thus he would not have the Lord in him, and he would not be in the Lord. Nor is it possible for the Lord to be in any angel or person unless the one in whom He is present with His love and wisdom perceives and feels that presence as something his own. Because of this the Lord is not only received, but, having been received, is retained and also loved in return. Consequently it is because of this that an angel becomes wise and remains wise.
Who could possibly want to love the Lord and the neighbor, and who could possibly want to become wise, if he did not feel and perceive what he loves, learns and incorporates as being something his own? Who would otherwise retain it in himself? If the case were not as it is, any love and wisdom flowing in would have no seat, for it would flow on through a person without affecting him. Thus the angel would not be an angel, and the person would not be a person; indeed, the angel or person would be only like something inanimate.
It can be seen from this that there must be reciprocity for conjunction to exist.
Have you ever felt God "calling in the night?" What has that been like? How have you responded?
Most of us question whether we are hearing God or our imaginations. Then, when we consider that it might be God, we feel inadequate to accept the call.
Hildegard of Bingen [1098 - 1179] , at age 42, was the abbess of a convent. She had been a resident since the age of eight, when her parents gave her [their 10th child[, to the convent as their "tithe" to the church. Despite her religious background, she resisted the call of God. It was a powerful call. She describes the experience:
Heaven was opened and a fiery light of exceeding brilliance came and permeated my whole brain, and infiltrated my whole heart and my whole brest, not like a burning but a warming flame, as the sun warms anything its rays touch. And immediately I knew the meaning of the exposition of the Scriptures ...
She realized that she had been having visions since she was five years old, but always dismissed them as insignificant. Even with this powerful experience of call, she tried to ignore it. She did not feel worthy to be an instrument of God. God told her to write down all that she saw and heard in her visions, but she resisted.
But although I heard and saw these things, because of doubt and low opinion of myself and because of diverse sayings of men, I refused for a long time a call to write, not out of stubbornness but out of humility, until weighed down by a scourge of god, I fell onto a bed of sickness.
Eventually she decided to follow's God's call. She started painting and writing -- music, poetry, and books. She becam famous in her time, and is perhaps even better known today. Matthew Fox has brought her works back into public prominence, and many are discovering her again today.
Like Swedenborg, she received a dramatic call in Middle Age and was given new understanding of the scripture. Because of her willingness to respond to the call, she has enriched the world of spirituality.
It is our goal during this year to explore ways of worship through the arts. This exploration must include Hildegard as one of our most important spiritual artists.
Many of her visions, or "Illuminations" were beautiful and complex paintings that contained spiritual meaning. Her music is deeply haunting. Let yourself become immersed in the experience of her illuminations and off her music.
Now experience her music with her art.
What is your experience of worshipping with Hildegard's art?
What are your experiences of ignoring God's call? What has happened for you when you have honored it?
On Eagles Wings