Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Breath of God

"Then it pleased the king to raise a small feather from the ground and he commanded it to fly.  The feather flew, not because of anything in itself but because the air bore it along.  Thus am I a feather on the breath of God." 
That is how Hildegard of Bingen describes herself.  "A Feather on the Breath of God" is also the title of a CD of religious music that was composed by her.  She was one of the most remarkably creative personalities of  the Middle Ages.  She lived in in the 12th century in what is now Germany.  She was a visionary, naturalist, playwright, poetess, and composer.  Her friendship and advice were sought by popes, emperors, kings, archbishops, abbots, and abbesses.
"Breath" and "Spirit" are the same word in Greek, "pneuma."  It might help us to getter an expanded grasp of who the Holy Spirit is if we think "Holy Breath."  "They were all filled with the Holy Breath and began to speak in different tongues as the Breath enabled them. (Acts 2:4)"  The Risen Jesus "breathed on them and said 'Receive the Holy Breath. (John 20:22)" 
We are feathers on the Breath of God.

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