Tuesday, October 23, 2012
St. Hildegard of Bingen - Liber Divinorum Operum: Prima Pars - Prima Visio, II (12)
And with that ethereal wind like invisible life, which supports all things, I stir so as to give life to all things, this is because by air and wind those invigorated [vegetative power] things that proceed in growth subsist, from the remote nothingness according to that which they are. *
Et quod cum aereo vento quadam invisibili vita, quae cuncta sustinet, vitaliter omnia suscito, hoc est quoniam aere et vento ea quae in incremento procedunt vegetata subsistunt, a nihilo remota in id quod sunt.
(*Due to difficulties involved in translating this passage, clarification is pending a discussion in the comments)
A difficult passage that is nonetheless profound, and, while the exact meaning is hard to decipher, it still concocts an expressive image. The image is that of the breath of life in Creation - remember it is Love (Charity) who is speaking here. "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."(Gn. 2:7). All that lives and grows subsists by this air of Creation - this breath of life - which gusts forth from the heart of Love. And once again, that air and breath which so closely resemble nothingness - are the reminder of the origin of our being. We were created ex nihilo - from nothing. It was the winds of love - the breath of Charity - gusting along this nothingness that brought us into being: "and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."(Gn. 1:2) This same Spirit, without created origin or end, gusts along the lives of those who are reborn, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (Jn. 3:8)
What are your thoughts?