Our mother hen
He will overshadow you with his shoulders, and under his wings you shall find hope (Ps 90:4). He says this so that you will not think that you can protect yourself. He will protect you and rescue you “from the snare of hunters and from the harsh word.” He will overshadow you with his shoulders–this could be understood either of his back or of his breast…. But because he says, And under his wings you shall find hope, it is clear that he means that the protection of outstretched wings brings you between God’s shoulders so that on both sides God’s wings place you in the middle and you are not afraid that anyone can harm you so long as you do not leave a place where no enemy dares to approach. If a hen protects her chicks under her wings, how much safer will you be beneath God’s wings, away from the devil and his angels, those “powers of the air”(see Eph 6:13) that like hawks circle above to carry off the helpless chick?
And there is reason to compare God’s Wisdom to a hen, for Christ our Lord and Savior himself said that he was like a hen: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how many times did I wish to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks, and you were unwilling (Mt 23:37). Jerusalem then was unwilling; let us be willing. Even though she was helpless, she presumed on her own strength; fleeing the wings of the hen, she was carried away by the powers of the air. Let us instead admit our helplessness and flee beneath God’s wings, and he will be for us like a hen protecting her chicks. It is no insult to call him a hen. Look at other birds; many of them hatch their chicks and keep them warm out in the open. None of them is so weakened with her chicks as is the hen. Think of it: we see swallows, sparrows, and storks away from their nests and do not know if they have little ones. But in the case of a hen, we know it by her lowered voice and drooping feathers. She is completely changed by her care of her chicks: because they are weak, she becomes weak. Because we too were weak, God’s Wisdom made herself weak: the Word became flesh and dwelt among us so that we can find hope beneath his wings. (Augustine, Enar. in Ps 90, 6; PL 38, 1152-53)
Let us flee beneath the wings of mother Wisdom, because Wisdom herself became weak for our sakes when the Word became flesh. (Augustine, Enar. in Ps 90-2, 2)