"Hildegard advises us, 'Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth's greenings. Now, think. What delight God gives to humankind with all these things. Who gives all these shining, wonderful gifts, if not God?'

"Shining and wonderful, luminous and fiery, and filled with doxa — the Greek word for 'glory' or 'radiance,' used at special times in the Scriptures — are these gifts of sun, moon, stars, and green things that flourish on the earth. They evoke in us delight. Joy is attached! Pleasure is among us. Enchantment surrounds us. The moon speaks to us. The sun blesses us with warmth, nurture, and food (as plants and animals absorb or 'eat' sunlight and thereby flourish via photosynthesis). Delight indeed! Tasty things come home to our intimate breakfast and dinner tables. Many shining, wonderful, delicious gifts. Pay attention, and by so doing learn to praise.

"Hildegard celebrates the glory — the radiance, or living light — that's in all beings. 'There is no creation that does not have a radiance,' she says. 'Be it greenness or seed, blossom or beauty — it could not be creation without it.' All creation contains radiance or 'glory.' All beauty contains the same. We are struck with beauty and radiance many times every day. Hildegard is echoing the prophet Isaiah's awareness that 'all of creation contains the glory of God' (Is 6.3). She tastes and breathes this glory.

"Wisdom speaks to Hildegard: 'I, the fiery life of divine wisdom, I ignite the beauty of the plains, I sparkle the waters, I burn in the sun, and the moon, and the stars. With wisdom I order all rightly. Above all, I determine truth.' There's a fiery life to wisdom, one that ignites, sparkles, burns, and keeps things in order. Even truth itself is full of this radiance and fire. Hildegard is deeply sensitive to this 'living light,' which so often appears in her visions and speaks to her in the first person.

"When Hildegard was seventy-seven years old, she wrote the following description of her experiences: 'From my childhood days, when my limbs, nerves, and veins were not yet strong, the gift of this vision brought joy to my soul; and this has remained true up to this very time when I am a woman of more than 70 years . . . The light which I see is not bound by space. It is much, much more light-filled than a cloud that carries the sun in itself. There is nothing in it to recognize of height, length, or breadth. It was described to me as the "shadow of the living light." And just as the sun, the moon, and the stars are reflected in water, so writings, talks, powers, and certain actions of people are illuminated for me in this light. . . .

" 'It is in this light that I sometimes see, though not often, another light that I call "the living light." When and how I see this, I cannot say. But as long as I see this "living light" all sadness and anxiety are taken away from me. The result is that I feel like a simple young girl and not like an old lady. . . .'

"Words like 'radiance,' 'numinosity,' 'glory,' and 'doxa' are synonyms for the Cosmic Christ, the image of God present and shining in all beings. This is like the Buddha Nature, which is also said to be present in all things, heightening our sense of reverence and respect. This teaching is about recovering a sense of the sacredness of all things. The Cosmic Christ is the Logos, or Word, that we have seen dwells in all things not passively but actively, urging them on to their rich fecundity and generativity — to the implementation of their greening powers."