Hildegard of Bingen, writes Matthew Fox, was one of the "great creation-centered mystics of the West." This multitalented and prolific abbess of a Benedictine abbey was an influential preacher, healer, scientist, composer, theologian, artist, and poet. She coined the term viriditas, or greening power, connecting it closely with creativity. Here is a selection of her sayings as quoted in Matthew Fox's Original Blessing.
- "The Word is living, being, spirit, all verdant greening, all creativity. This Word manifests itself in every creature."
- "God is the good
and all things which proceed from him
- "Holy persons draw to themselves all that is earthly. . . .
The earth is at the same time mother,
She is mother of all that is natural,
mother of all that is human.
She is the mother of all,
for contained in her
are the seeds of all."
- "The truly holy person welcomes all that is earthly."
- "Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.
What delight God gives to humankind
with all these things. . . .
All nature is at the disposal of humankind.
We are to work with it. For
without we cannot survive."
- "The fire has its flame and praises God.
The wind blows the flame and praises God.
In the voice we hear the word which praises God.
And the word, when heard, praises God.
So all of creation is a song of praise to God."
- "Trust shows the way."
- "God hugs you.
You are encircled by the arms
of the mystery of God."
- "Good People,
most royal greening verdancy,
rooted in the sun,
you shine with radiant light."
- "I welcome all the creatures of the world with grace."
- "Now in the people that were meant to be green there is no more life of any kind. There is only shriveled barrenness. The winds are burdened by the utterly awful stink of evil, selfish goings-on. Thunderstorms menace. The air belches out the filthy uncleanliness of the peoples. The earth should not be injured! The earth must not be destroyed!"
- "Divinity is aimed at humanity."
- " 'With my mouth,' God says, 'I kiss my own chosen creation. I uniquely, lovingly, embrace every image I have made out of the earth’s clay. With a fiery spirit I transform it into a body to serve all the world.'"
- "Mary, ground of all being, Greetings!
Greetings to you, lovely and loving Mother!"
- "Humankind, full of all creative possibilities, is God’s work. Humankind alone is called to assist God. Humankind is called to co-create. With nature’s help, humankind can set into creation all that is necessary and life-sustaining."
- "God has arranged all things in the world in consideration of everything else."
- "All of creation God gives to humankind to use. If this privilege is misused, God’s justice permits creation to punish humanity."