Saturday, 20 August 2011

St Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot

O God, by whose grace your servant Bernard of Clairvaux, Kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.   Amen

[Saint Bernard of Clairvaux]

Today's saint was a great preacher, a significant theologian and someone who shaped modern Europe, through the impact the Cistercian Order had an our economic and social structures.  OK, he was French, but that isn't actually a sin (unless God is actually an Englishman).   his writings still have resonance today, even though they were written 1000 years ago.  This sample is a good one: 

"Love is sufficient of itself; it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in the practice. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return. The sole purpose of his love is to be loved, int he knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him." - from a sermon by Saint Bernard .

Love is what raises us to one step short of the Angels.  Love of God, love of another, love of the poor, love of our fellow mortals.  May love of God be with us all today.

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