"Injustice is the cause of sin because injustice is the ultimate dryness. 'A person who lacks the verdancy of justice is dry, totally without tender goodness, totally without illuminating virtue,' Hildegard tells us. A sinner is one who becomes 'dry in the luke-warmness of his drooping soul.' Injustice is compared to 'dust' upon which the Holy Spirit must send forth 'rain.' The ultimate not-caring or carelessness occurs when we become cold and hardened to injustice. For Hildegard justice is wet, injustice dry. Justice is the fruit of the spirit, injustice the death of the spirit. 'It is justice which, when sprinkled by the dew of the Holy Spirit, ought to germinate good works through holiness. Says Hildegard: 'It is through water that the Holy Spirit overcomes all injustice, brings to fulfillment all the Spirit's gifts . . . . With these gifts humankind might thrive in the moisture of justice and stream to spiritual things in the current of truth.' Salvation means justice for Hildegard. 'When the salvation of good and just people is progressing favorably, justice is active through the Holy Spirit so that such people rise up in victory to God and accomplish good deeds.'

"Hildegard often urged church leaders — abbots and archbishops, priests and bishops, to stay wet and moist and green and juicy. She wrote one churchman: 'When a person loses the freshness of God's power, he is transformed into the dryness of carelessness. He lacks the juice and greenness of good works and the energies of his heart are sapped away.' She writes Abbot Adam of Ebrach, 'Pay careful attention lest with all the fluctuations of your thoughts the greening power which you have from God dries up in you.'

"It is interesting how Hildegard, in critiquing persons of three faiths — Christians, Jews, and Muslims — is hardest and longest in her criticism of the Christians. She does not criticize Jews or Muslims for their faith but for being dried up in their faith. Her picture holds much hope — for surrounding the dryness of chaff, feathers and wood alike, there flow fully encompassing waters and blood with fireballs symbolizing spirit. We are capable of being wetted anew, she promises. For God says: 'In the shaking out of my mantle you are drenched, watered, with thousands of drops of precious dew. Thus is humanity gifted.' No wonder, to be wise is to be wet. 'The soul that is full of wisdom is saturated with the spray of a bubbling fountain — God himself.' "

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