Hildegard on How Human Beings Amaze the Angels

Hildegard tells us that 

all of the angels are amazed at humans, who through their holy works appear clothed with an incredibly beautiful garments.  For the angel without the work of the flesh is simply praise, but the humans with their corporeal works are a glorification: therefore the angels praise humans’ work.

A brief introduction to the street medics of BeLoved Asheville, NC, providing free care to the homeless and vulnerable. BeLoved Asheville.

I find these passages to be among the most stunning in all of Hildegard’s angelology. When most people think of angels, if they think of them at all, they are amazed at angels and feel inferior to the angels.

But here we have Hildegard saying the angels are amazed at us. What dignity and healthy pride that gives our species! And why are they amazed at us? Because our holy works. Angels only choose once. But we, with our constant creativity, entering so fully into the evolutionary habits of the universe, are unfolding and yet doing so often consciously and deliberately, by choice. I hear Hildegard saying that our works, our choices, astound the angels. It’s wonderful.

And then she says the angel is simply praise, but the human being is a glorification. That is one more reason why the angels praise humanity’s works. Again she’s honoring matter here, she’s honoring flesh. In one way she’s saying that the angels’ life compared with ours is much duller. It’s simply praise, it’s predictable, whereas ours is constantly bringing new things into the world and praise from the angels results from this.

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” sung by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles: “The longer they wiped their tears, the longer the audience applauded.” itswhatwelooklike

Humans are an unusual species. So often we see the shadow side of our being. We are a bridge between the material world and the spirit world, and it can get us down. How badly we fail both worlds! But here Hildegard extols this unique experiment on God’s part, our being both spirit and body. She’s saying that we are fascinating, we are amazing, we are praiseworthy to the angels. I think this needs deep meditation. It would help us to get our dignity back. When we do that, we might start acting better.

Indeed, Hildegard tells us that 

the angels lift up their voices to God in praise of the good works of humanity. They continually praise the ever-increasing good works of humankind. They climb onto the golden altar which stands before God’s countenance. And from now on they intone a new song to honor these works.  to be continued

Adapted from Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake, The Physics of Angels, pp. 160f.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Sunset support. Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay 

Queries for Contemplation

What does it mean to you to hear that humans are a “glorification”?   And that humans “amaze” the angels?  Is this kind of invitation to human greatness a necessary for surviving the obvious capacity for evil and destruction humanity is currently displaying?

Recommended Reading

The Physics of Angels: Exploring the Realm Where Science & Spirit Meet
By Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake

When was the last time a scientist and a theologian discussed angels together? What are angels? Many people believe in angels, but few can define these enigmatic spirits. Now visionary theologian Matthew Fox and acclaimed biologist Rupert Sheldrake—pioneers in modern religious thinking and scientific theory—launch a groundbreaking exploration into the ancient concept of the angel and restore dignity, meaning, and joy to our time-honored belief in these heavenly beings.

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11 thoughts on “Hildegard on How Human Beings Amaze the Angels”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Queries for Contemplation
    “What does it mean to you to hear that humans are a ‘glorification’? and that humans ‘amaze’ the angels?” Hildegard answers this in saying: “all of the angels are amazed at humans, who through their holy works appear clothed with an incredibly beautiful garments. For the angel without the work of the flesh is simply praise, but the humans with their corporeal works are a glorification: therefore the angels praise humans’ work.” So the reason why angels are amazed at humans is, because of our good works and choices.
    “Is this kind of invitation to human greatness a necessary for surviving the obvious capacity for evil and destruction humanity is currently displaying?” So often we see the shadow side of our being. There is shadow in the Via Negativa, as well as in the Via Creativa, and the Via Transformativa. We, being both body and spirit, are a bridge between the material world and the spirit world, and somehow we most do our best on both planes. We can make our spiritual lives encompass our “secular lives.” Remember: “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Remember: the “Reinvention of Work?” And it needs to be the reinvention of everything–politics, education, law enforcement, health care, economics, etc., etc. Oh, and one more thing… When you speak of the angels, how shall we regard the “Queen of Angels?”

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    Today’s meditation blew me away. From the first sentence about angels being in awe of us, I had to pause. I thought perhaps there was a typo. Still trying to really process all of this, but I immediately wanted to sit up taller and be worthy of this awe.

  3. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    As I was reading Hildegard’s words, reiterated and expanded upon by Mathew in today’s DM… what spoke to me was our souls choice to descend to Earth… not once, but many times… in order for all to awaken to the unfolding, evolving, emergence of the glory of God… that experiences and manifests itself from within each one of us all. It dawned on me… in this holy instant moment… that we are all BODDHISATVA’S.

    The Boddisatva, out of unconditional love, compassion and mercy… chooses, as a soul vow… time and time again, to incarnate on Earth… until the very last soul awakens and returns to this Source of glory within oneself. Seeing everyone through this lens, brings forth a deep sense of respect, awe and wonder… and yes, even praise… for the beauty of each one’s soul and the courageous journey each one is in the midst of living.

  4. Avatar

    These DM teachings are resonances from a higher vibe that serve to keep our spiritual consciousness streaming, and our third eye open. It also sparks the impetus to comment and share. I noticed the small spiral logo appearing daily at the top of the page that appears before and heralds each DM, along with Matthew’s name. It’s worth noting that the spiral motif is found throughout the universe at all scales, quark to quasar. They’re cosmic signatures of the eternal in space-time. The spiral is a portal symbolizing the gradual unfolding of things that are hidden, found streaming from the very highest vibration of energy (Spirit) at the very beginning (eye or zero-point) of its uncoiling. As a symbol for the divine, it is found in all ancient cultures. What is found streaming from the eye of the spiral is the universal first principle, the foundation that is without foundation, the innermost of the innermost that “fills the universe in all its parts.” It is the ‘deepest me’ place of Christ identity, the ‘secret place of the Most High’ (Ps. 91:1). The still-point at the center of each spiral is the Golden Gate which glows and bathes all things in numinous light. We must learn to sit in silent expectation there, where God will meet and speak to us personally, spirit to spirit, light to light, face to face. “Blessed is the man that hearth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the post of my doors. For whosoever findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord” (Pr. 8:34-36). Prayer and contemplation are more about listening than speaking. In the ancient scrolls, the word ‘obedient’ means “to hearken attentively.” We’re listening, Matthew. Thanks for tuning in daily on our behalf, streaming vibes and resonances of the highest frequency from the zero-point center (eye) of your 7th chakra, and for being receptive of same from ours. Such is real holy communion.

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    Yes, Hildegard and Matthew! Thank you for reminding us that human beings are also a very special part of All Sacred Creation, that even Angels and light spirit beings from their spiritual dimensions admire, love, and are with us on our difficult spiritual journeys here on earth. As mystics, saints, and spiritual guides have experienced and taught us, each human being is a unique sacred eternal soul~spirit with the capacity/potential to experience, develop, and share God’s Divine Love~Wisdom~Creativity with-in us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially Compassion, with one another and All Creation on our eternal souls’ spiritual journeys…. Diverse Loving Oneness of our Beloved Cosmic Christ Consciousness….

  6. Avatar
    Monique Keffer

    I asked this before but no one replied and I’d really like to hear others’ thoughts. I know it’s a simple question, but clear and concise questions get down to the bare bones of a matter. I am struggling with my belief in angels, not because I don’t agree with what is being discussed here. I firmly believe in physics being a way for us to understand how grace works. But here’s the thing—why does it have to be angels operating in this way in the universe? Why can’t it be explained by the workings of the (what I call) the Holy Spirit? I believe that God is a part of our lives and moves within us as grace. I also believe that energy from those who have walked this earth with us remains with us to influence us. So isn’t that enough to explain the energy that is created by a third party? Why is grace of any form explained by the use of an “angel?” Thanks for listening and hopefully commenting!

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      I agree with your questions. Is it necessary to believe in angels? For me, it is not. For me, God/Holy Spirit/Christ/Buddha nature/Source seem to be quite enough. Maybe it is just getting old that makes me want to keep simplifying. I do agree that we need to keep looking for the positive and praise and celebrate it in ourselves and in others. Someone once said that it is not surprising that there is so much evil in the world but it is surprising that there is so much good. Every time there is a huge tragedy, like children being slaughtered in their school, there is also a huge outpouring of love and help for the families–the politicians almost inevitably fail, but ordinary people keep stepping up. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, just as I believe in the power of evil, and I pray for the day when enough people are lifted up by the holy and the sacred–which is found in everyone and everything IMO–so that love will prevail. If a belief in angels helps people, so much the better.

    2. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Monique, You ask today: “I firmly believe in physics being a way for us to understand how grace works. But here’s the thing—why does it have to be angels operating in this way in the universe? Why can’t it be explained by the workings of the (what I call) the Holy Spirit?” I agree that it can be explained by the workings of the Holy Spirit, but does that mean we can’t use physics as another way of explaining things? I believe we can have both–one way makes sense to one and another way makes sense to another.

    3. Avatar

      There may be is a hierarchy of spiritual beings, such as angels, but they’re all derived from the same Spirit occupying different roles and functions in that hierarchy. Say, the way members of a baseball team occupy different positions on the field. Regardless of position, they’re all coordinating on the same team with a goal in mind. With angels, such teaching is a hard sell because even when spiritually awakened, there are limitations as to how far the lot of us can ascend in consciousness to experience these spirit beings, especially in a way where we can detect or even differentiate them. Most of our energies and attention go to more mundane matters. It’s enough to know that Spirit in all its ministering forms, angels included, are there and minister on our behalf, even though we can’t see them. They ministered constantly to Jesus during his public ministry, and after the crucifixion, even appearing to the women at the empty tomb who came to anoint his body. Like elevated levels of spiritual consciousness and perception, there are elevated (more highly advanced) forms of mathematics beyond the grasp of most. Such levels are not required, even necessary, to get on in the world, only those basics required to manage our affairs in practical daily living. Ditto the simple basics in our spiritual walk.

  7. Avatar
    John O'Riordan

    In meditating on how the angels percieve us as the actors in creation, leads us to reflect on how the ancestors perceive us in that process. They were once able to act but are no longer able to so participate. We by our imagination and creativity can use what they have done as material for our actions and transformation.

  8. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler


    My sense in response to your question, is that it’s important to remain open to the rich diversities within the experience of life, both in the natural and the spiritual realms. However, in that acceptance… one does not have to believe in the others experiences of this. It is our own unique and individual soul experiences that we are encouraged to trust in… the stance of being and living in our own truth… yet, while at the same time, accepting without judgement, criticism or condemnation those of others. Within this… there is also a deep soul union… as each one is a reflection, an expression, an experience of the whole. There are also commonalities within this diversity as well.

    Another way of metaphorically saying this… is to imagine a beautiful crystal, when the light shines on it, and you see all the different rays of colour… each ray of multicoloured light is like each individual soul… each one emitting the variety of colours in its own unique radiance… expressing and reflecting it’s own individual soul’s experience… and yet, at the same time each rainbow ray of light, within each soul… is also reflecting, expressing, experiencing and manifesting the light generated from the One same Source… all of it beautiful.

    Hope my comments in response to your question, assist you in trusting your own unique radiance and all that you experience within your souls journey… and the beauty of diversity within the unity of Oneness… already present in its essence… awaiting to be encountered… within your relationships with others… both in the natural and spiritual realms of our existence.

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