The late Father Bede Griffiths believed that the East has much to teach the West about regaining a balance of masculine-feminine, yang-yin energies.
The suppression of women in the Church is but one of the many signs of this masculine domination… Reason has to be ‘married’ to intuition; it has to learn to surrender itself for the deeper intuitions of the spirit. These intuitions come…from the presence of the Spirit in the depths of the soul.
Hildegard takes us beyond the domination of the rational masculine, even while she praises the use of rationality and intellect. She takes us to a place where the Divine Feminine is welcomed once again.
Hildegard ascribes the work of creation to a woman named Love, thus advancing the biblical teaching that Wisdom (who is feminine) was present at creation. Hear her out:
I heard a voice speaking to me: ‘The young woman whom you see is Love. She has her tent in eternity… It was love which was the source of this creation in the beginning when God said: ‘Let it be!’ And it was. As though in the blinking of an eye, the whole creation was formed through love. The young woman is radiant in such a clear, lightning-like brilliance of countenance that you can’t fully look at her… She holds the sun and moon in her right hand and embraces them tenderly… The whole of creation calls this maiden ‘Lady.’ For it was from her that all of creation proceeded, since Love was the first. She made everything… Love was in eternity and brought forth, in the beginning of all holiness, all creatures without any admixture of evil. Adam and Eve as well were produced by love from the pure nature of the Earth.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Hildegard of Bingen, a Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century, pp. 111f.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Detail, The Church, the Bride of Christ and Mother of the Faithful in Baptism. Illustration to Scivias II.3, fol. 51r from the 20th-century facsimile of the Rupertsberg manuscript, c. 1165–1180. Wikimedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
Is this news to you that a woman named Love “made everything” and “all creatures without any admixture of evil?” This news is brought to you by Hildegard, a recently canonized saint and declared doctor of the Christian Church. What follows from that?
Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century
Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice.
“This book gives strong, sterling, and unvarnished evidence that everything – everything – we ourselves become will affect what women after us may also become….This is a truly marvelous, useful, profound, and creative book.” ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.
Matthew Fox offers the last in a series of three lectures on “Wisdom, Grace, Love,” hosted by the Sophia Institute in Charleston, SC. Registration is still open and a recording of all three lectures is available to registrants after the event. To register, click HERE.