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“The Lord hears the cry of the poor. Blessed be the Lord.” So prayed the Psalmist over three thousand years ago, his response to the ills of his day.

His angst resonates with our own: darkness and confusion that numb sensibilities, sicken resolve, foment divisions, and bifurcate values. The computerized stranglehold upon time seems to have become the new god, the Sacred appearing to have abandoned his creation. Beneath the glitz of social media, the entertainment world, and the towering megapolis of progress evidenced in skylines the world over, putrefies a spiritual and moral stench that suffocates the soul.

But no matter, greedy pundits say, just ramp up the freebies and just watch how the sheeple will respond. Give them more cake.

In the Psalmist’s time, however, a remnant held fast to the Sword of Truth within the depths of their being. The same holds true today. As dismaying as the media’s escalating reports of rancor, carnage, and death appear, we cling to a different reality, one modeled by Jesus of Nazareth who endured the same dregs of evil, yet triumphed over them.

So with today’s Psalmist, the author of the Serenity Prayer, we pray “…taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not as we would have it, trusting that You will make all things right if we surrender to Your will, so that we may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.”

All is indeed well.

 

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“If you love the truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sun will illuminate you in God.”—a trenchant saying attributed to Isaac the Syrian, the seventh-century Bishop, theologian, and monk who the Eastern Orthodox Church regards as a saint.

Simple words, if pondered, reveal the unseen caught in the flux of time. Key to this process is passion, whose firelight, like the sun, ignites inner worlds. But who cares to go there? To discipline unruly instincts clamoring for expression? That would be like dying. Such flies in the face of our cultural mores, engulfed in denial and rationalization. The predictable is more comfortable, yet soulless.

It does not take much to see who is truly alive among us: their quickening gaze, their resonant voices, their authority, of whatever age and background.

That’s what happens when you sit in the fire.

 

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In recent decades a simple earthy woman has been emerging from obscurity, a woman who styled herself as “…a small sound of the trumpet from the Living Light.”

Dependence upon her visions, received in full consciousness, uniquely fitted her to serve others: she founded a community of like-minded women, designed and built housing to accommodate their needs, composed hymns for prayer and worship, authored the first musical morality play, put out major books on theology and treatises on herbal remedies and gynecology and sexuality, corresponded with world leaders in government and religion, counseled the distressed, preached from pulpits in major European cathedrals, agonized over armies spoiling the fertile earth for material gain, and scolded lax Popes during her eighty-one years of life .

A seer of the Unseen, she bothered many. So much so that after her death, the proper authorities successfully blurred, then obliterated her far-reaching influence. Her violent world, like ours, reflected the Titanic clash of spirits: spiritus contra spiritus.

But the Feminine Spirit, once expressed, cannot be silenced. The work of this Encyclopedist continues firing the imaginations of present-day scholars delving into her extant works and exploring fresh vistas into the cosmic dimensions of all life. Only at this mystical depth can healing occur.

In 2012, Pope Gregory XVI canonized her and named her a Doctor of the Catholic Church, one of only three women to hold this distinction. Indeed, the “… small sound of the trumpet from the Living Light” still finds resonance in humble hearts today.

Her name is St. Hildegard of Bingen, German Benedictine Abbess (1098 – 1179).

 

 

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