Medieval Quotes Advent Calendar 9th of December

This is a letter from Hildegard of Bingen to Elizabeth of Schoenau

I, a poor little form and earthen vessel, speak these things not from myself but from the serene light: Man is a vessel which God fashioned for himself, which he imbued with his spirit, so that he might accomplish his works in him; for God does not work as man does but by the order of his command all things are carried out. Grasses, brush, and trees appeared; the sun, the moon, and the stars also came about by his care, and the waters produced fish and birds, and flocks and beasts arose as well, which minister all things to men, as God commanded.
Man alone did not recognize Him. For when God prepared great knowledge for man, man lifted himself up in his spirit and turned himself away from God. For God looked on man to perfect all his works in him, but the ancient deceiver beguiled him and infected him with the crime of disobedience, the love of the unstable wind, when he sought more than he should have.
Ach, o ve! Then all the elements enfolded themselves in the alternation of light and shadows as man did in transgressing God’s commands. God, however, strengthened/irrigated certain men, lest man be completely despised. Abel was good, but Cain a suicide. And many saw the mysteries of God in the light, but others committed many sins, until that time came in which the word of God was manifest as it is said: Beautiful in form beyond the sons of men. Then the sun of justice appeared and illuminated men with good works in faith and in act, just as the dawn comes first, and the other hours of the day follow, until night arrives. Thus, o daughter Elisabeth, is the world changed. For the world is already weary in all the greenness of virtues, that is at dawn, prime, ters, and in the strongest hour of the day, at sext. But in this time it is necessary for God to strengthen/irrigate some men, lest his instruments be idle.
Hear, o anxious daughter, that the ambitious suggestions of the ancient serpent are worrying somewhat those men whom the inspiration of God has so imbued. For when that same serpent sees an elegant gem, he roars, saying: “What is this?” And he worries it with many miseries of the burning mind, desirous of flying over the clouds, as if they were Gods, just as he did.
Now hear again: Who desire to accomplish the works of God, let them always consider that they are earthen vessels, since they are men, and let them always reflect on what they are and what they will be, and leave heavenly things to [him] who is of heaven, since they are exiles, not knowing heavenly things, but only reciting the mysteries of God, just as a trumpet only makes sounds, but does not cause them; someone blows in it in order to make the sound. But the mild put on the cuirass of faith, being gentle, poor, and unfortunate, having the simple habits of children, just as he whose trumpet sounds they are was a Lamb, since God always scourges those who sing in his trumpet, taking care lest their earthen vessel perish, except as it pleases Him.
O daughter, let God make you a mirror of life. But I too lie in the pusillanimity of my mind, fatigued much by fear, sounding a little, at times, like the small sound of a trumpet from the living light. Whence God help me, that I may remain in his ministry.


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