Oneing, Awakening, Acting: The Holy Spirit at Work

Hildegard praises the Holy Spirit as “the hope of oneness for that which is separate,” the power that empowers all life.  Is this “hope for oneness” deep within all of us?  Is this equivalent to a “hope for compassion”? 

“How would God be known as life if not through the fact that the realm of the living, which glorifies and praises God, also emerges from God?” – Cultivating the Cosmic Tree by Hildegard of Bingen, De Operatione Dei

Hildegard addresses the Holy Spirit this way:

Holy Spirit, you make life alive, you move in all things, you are the root of all created being… You awaken and reawaken every thing that is.

Whatever awakens and reawakens every thing that is is surely a power or force we want to invoke, is it not?  The Holy Spirit, Hildegard says, is “the life of the life of all creatures.”

Eckhart also connects the Holy Spirit and justice making when he says that the Spirit is the spirit of transformation, the “Transformer.”

Compassion and justice making in the creation tradition can in no way be restricted to relations among the two-legged ones.

Unarmed water protectors face militarized corporate and state police equipment at Standing Rock. Photo by Dark Sevier on Flickr

 The creation mystics are speaking of cosmic relations and cosmic healing. In this tradition, sin is laid bare as ecological and not trivial.

Evil is bigger than sin and a time of eco-crisis lays bare the presence of Evil in structures that fail us: Structures that reinforce greed and injustice, imbalance and poverty, people who struggle daily to eat one meal a day and people who own access to law, judges, politicians, banks and the rest whose passion is not about survival but about feeding a rapacious quest for more.

Hildegard envisions the elements of the earth suffering from the sins of humankind toward the earth.

“Manifest Destiny” Painting by John Gast. White settlers push subjugated Native Americans ahead of them as they take possession of an empty land, led by the feminine embodiment of the spirit of America. From Wikimedia Commons.

I hear a mighty voice crying from the elements of the world: ‘We cannot move and complete our accustomed rounds as we should do according to the precepts of our Creator.

She warned humanity that human misery such as that we now see regularly being generated by climate change including more frequent and more fierce tornadoes and hurricanes, rising seas, more expansive drought and fierce wildfires is not an invention of the two-legged ones but a law of cosmic balance and beauty.

“As often as the elements of the world are violated by ill treatment,” she warns, “God will cleanse them through the sufferings and hardships to humankind.”  This seems to be happening.

Hildegard goes on:

All of creation God gives to humankind to use . But if this privilege is misused, God’s justice permits creation to punish humanity.

Thus we see that the creation mystics define the deepest spiritual energy of which humanity is capable in this way: it is the consciousness and work for harmony, justice, or compassion.


Adapted from: Matthew Fox, Wrestling with the Prophets, pp. 97-98.

Banner Image: A grandfather and grandson spend time connecting with one another and with the earth in the garden. Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

In this and yesterday’s Daily Meditation we are deepening our awareness and understanding of the Holy Spirit.  What does the Holy Spirit mean to you?  How does today’s Meditation deepen your understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit?  Do you experience the Spirit in your work?

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6 thoughts on “Oneing, Awakening, Acting: The Holy Spirit at Work”

  1. Avatar

    Today the reflection question on this site is a bit different than that on the other site: “What does the Holy Spirit mean to you? How does today’s Meditation deepen your understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit? Do you experience the Spirit in your work?”
    I have just published my first book, JESUS GARDENS ME. In an experience walking a labyrinth (Spiral) in the Willka Tika Guest House in the highlands of Peru I felt “inspiration”, the Holy Spirit at work. During this “stay at home” time I built my own labyrinth in our back yard. I am walking it several times a day and feel connected to Pacha Mama (Mother earth) and guided by the Spirit in my continuing work.

  2. Avatar

    Your writings, Matthew, along with those of my other spiritual teachers, frequently find their way into my playwriting; where they merge with current events and the universal ether and create, I hope, characters and words that speak to others. Such has been the case during this time of pandemic. Last week Red Earth Theatre in Sedona, AZ, did an online reading of one of my new plays. Folks can access “Puzzles and Borderlines” here. I offer it to others for contemplation, and I’d love to receive viewers’ comments on YouTube or through my website.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELMnjsWfxWo&t=333s

  3. Avatar
    Don Heckelmiller

    I am the one blamed for all that happens. My problems are my path and I shall not turn from the path.
    We must awaken the world to our insatiable desire of all we consume without thought of its devastating effects that our Mother endures. The Zero year is close that we humans will not be able to stop our inevitable extension.
    Thank You, Matthew Fox, for your beautiful life and all your love for our Earth Mother. Only if All could see and feel the deep AWE that many of us know. May the Beloved never leave us.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Don,
      Thank you for writing your impassioned pleas for us to wake up. If the COVID-19 Pandemic doesn’t wake us up, we may never be able to awaken. For me, the incredible inventiveness of this crisis, (not a hurricane, not a drought, but a tiny travelling spore) tells me that Mother Earth is willing to create catastrophes to wake us up. She does not need us to survive, but it seems that she wants us. She wants us to open our eyes and become part of her Earth family. and is going to great lengths to make us slow down, notice, care, forgive, serve, and revel in the miracle of this planet.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

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