Be like the sun

Daily Reading for September 24

An abbot who was immensely depressed wrote to Hildegard to ask for advice. Her reply drew on her visions, and her knowledge of gardens and agriculture.

Drench your thoughts in the streams of scripture

and study the example of the saints, then try to live like them.

Do all this modestly

and let the blossom flourish in your brothers

like leaves and flowers on a tree.

Be like the sun with your teaching,

like the moon in your readiness to adapt,

like the wind by your unwavering guidance,

like gentle breezes in your forbearance,

and like fire in the arousing and inspiring force of your instruction.

Everything should begin

with the first gleam of early dawn

and end in blazing light.

A letter of Hildegard of Bingen, quoted in Invincible Spirits: A Thousand Years of Women’s Spiritual Writings, compiled by Felicity Leng (Eerdmans, 2006).

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