Be Blameless

Posted by: Richenda at Saturday January 12, 2008 in

Be Blameless. Recognize truth. Not so easy to do.

I came across this letter written by Hildegard DeBingen and it really jumped out at me. I’ve read it thrice through now, and I wanted to share it. In the letter, Hildegard speaks as she feels God would speak in a certain instance:

O human being, why do you sleep? Why do you have no taste for the good works that sound in God’s ears like a symphony? Why do you not search out the house of your heart and renounce your brazen unruliness? You strike Me in the face when you push away My members in their woundedness without looking at me, even though I am the One who draws back to the fold those who wander. You will have to answer for these things in My presence—for the house of your heart and fore the city which I created and washed in the blood of the Lamb. Why do you not shrink from destroying a person, since it wasn’t you who created him? You don’t anoint him with oil and you neither protect nor care for him. You want to improve him, but you are violent in doing this. But now the time for your ebbing away has come. Nevertheless, God, who created you, will not let you be lost. So recognize the truth of these things!

excerpt from Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works, Matthew Fox, editor. Bear & Company: Sante Fe, New Mexico. 1987.

What do I like so much? It reminds me of a phrase I’ve been rolling around in my head. A phrase from Genesis, God says it when he approaches Abraham to both reproach him for his failure to measure up, and absolve him of having done so. God says, “Be Blameless.”

In Hildegard’s letter, I see an echo of this idea. She says, “So recognize the truth of these things!” and God says “Be Blameless.” They are very different words used very different ways, but both name this core idea that I think is so central to Christian philosophy. What Hildegard is saying is “get it figured out and move on. Step into a more rightful place. Leave the past be, step away from that not-good place, recognize it, and do something else!”

God, in his statement “Be Blameless” says the same thing. Though I think it’s more powerful used in Genesis because it is so much more….all encompassing. Such total absolution, the best kind of absolution, one that recognizes the depth of the transgression, a true acknowledgment, but doesn’t dwell there. It touches the stretched cord and immediately releases it. God does not linger in Blame in dealing with Abraham. There is simply no place for it in God’s plan for him. God recognizes Abraham’s faults and failings, but that is not God’s purpose nor his focus. God focuses instead on what still needs to be done, on the act of importance that still awaits action.

Hildegard seems also to get that the state of blamelessness is the state of truth. She says, You must recognize truth to be free of what traps you away from truth. If you acknowledging only the stretched cord, then that, my friend, means that no good can ever be done. What will endure will be shame, anger, regret, blame. And that stuff is useless to making a better world, and….it’s simply not the point.

Only God can absolve, but you can Atone. Kneel down and let it be as it is. Perhaps in doing so, you will need to make amends, or deal with the real consequences of your actions in your life (and depending on your transgressions, this might be significant). So do so. So be it. Move forward in the world. Recognize the truth and do that thing which God calls you to do, whatever that is. Abraham was 99 years old. It is never too late. Live as God intended you to live.

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