Updated: Aug 19
Reading my favorite mystic this a.m., Richard Rohr. Though we don’t always agree, some moments of clarity are stark!
In this case, his story from the 1100's, "Hildegard was forty-three years old when her visions finally became so insistent that she could no longer contain the secret she had harbored since early childhood: the Holy One, identifying itself as “the Living Light,” spoke to her."
Hildegard of Bingen was a medieval nun, whom out of humuility (think gender in 1100's) resisted the idea that she heard from the Creator.
For me it's not humility that restrains my message, but the repeated reinforcement of 70 years of evangelical commitment to literal interpretation of scripture.
Yet, with every passing year, now near 50 years of adult life and Bible study, the Word spoken to my soul each morning is profoundly convincing that The Word is alive, The Creator does speak and yes, to me.
The mystery to me however, is why such a Being would risk speaking to broken creatures like myself, though well meaning we may be, knowing that the very words breathed into our souls, might then be heard through that filter of our brokeness and our brokenness be then transfered to our script.
If you doubt this, just compare the Christ of God with whom the Old Testament described God to be.
The beauty of this process is that it requires that one listen to The One while reading. That very personal relationship then affords a relevance that is earth changing! "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." How did we miss that!
Economic disparities, educational inequities, racial and gender biases perhaps a remedy here?
"We are not all prophets. It may not be our job to challenge authority and expose corruption. We may not be the ones to penetrate the code of sacred scriptures and feed the spiritually hungry. It may be up to others to sound the clarion call of impending doom, calling on humanity to change its ways.
Ours may be a modest awakening. We may simply refuse to participate for another moment in a life against which our hearts have been crying out for years." (Rohr).
And then again, maybe so?