Saint Bernard

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of St. Bernard, a Cistercian monk sometimes mistakenly called the founders of the Cistercian, who ultimately became abbot of the monastery of Clairvaux. He is considered the last of the “Fathers of the Church” and also is one of the bearers of the title of Doctor of the Church.

It is sometimes said that the Cistercian spiritual quest can be summed up as simply as: God alone. And it was certainly Bernard’s ideal that we turn to God alone at every moment. For him, the one question we needed to ask ourselves at any time is: Am I trusting in God or in someone else? Time and time again he preached the simple message: trust God.

Here, Bernard talks about his awareness of Jesus’ presence.

He is life and power, and as soon as he enters in, he awakens my slumbering soul; he stirs and soothes and pierces my hearts, for before it was hard as stone, and diseased. So he has begun to pluck out and destroy, to build up and to plant, to water dry places and illuminate dark ones; to open what was closed and to warm what was cold; to make the crooked straight and the rough places smooth, so that my soul may bless the Lord, and all that is within me may praise his holy name.

Through the graces of St. Bernard, may we be ever mindful of Jesus’ presence and open ourselves to his ministering touch. St. Bernard, pray for us!

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