MYSTICISM: First Vision—On The Oright Of Life (7) by Hildegard of Bingen
From: Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works, With Letters and Songs
Everything God has done was done by the Deity before the beginning of time in the divine present. In the pure and holy Godhead all visible and invisible things shine before all eternity without a temporal moment and without the elapse of time, just as trees and other bodily things are reflected in adjacent waters without being within them in a bodily fashion, even though their outlines may appear in this mirror. When God said, “Let it be done!” things were enclosed at once within their forms, just as the divine providence had seen them in an incorporeal way before time was. Just as everything in front of a mirror shines within that mirror, all the works of the holy Godhead shine within it in a timeless way. For how should God exist without having prior knowledge of the divine works? And each divine work, once it has been enclosed within its body, is complete in the function that is appropriate for it. For the holy Godhead knew in advance how it would assist that work, serving it with knowledge and comprehension. As a ray of light lets us distinguish the form of a creature, God’s pure providence sees the forms of creation even before they are enclosed within their bodies. This is because everything God wished to create, even before this work had a body, shone in the divine foreknowledge and according to the divine likeness, just as we can see the rays of the sun before we see the sun itself. And just as the sun’s rays indicate the sun, the angels reveal God by their hymns of praise. And just as the sun cannot exist without its light, the Godhead could not be it if were not for the angels’ praise. God’s providence went before while the divine work came afterward. If this providence had not gone before, the work would not have appeared. In the same way, we cannot recognize someone from his or her bodily appearance unless we can see that person’s face. But if we see the face, we will praise also the whole form of that individual. This is the way that God’s providence and work are within us human beings.
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