Monday, August 20, 2012

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Today is the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). St. Bernard was one of those “super saints” who comes along maybe once every century. A noted theologian, zealous Abbott, monastic reformer, papal advisor, schism mediator, gifted speaker, and inspirational writer, St. Bernard was officially proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1830. He is particularly known for his writings and sermons on Mary, and his Marian theology is still considered preeminent today.
“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.”

St. Bernard also had a lot to say about the angels. Simple in style, but rich in substance, this quote should give us all pause to reflect:

“In whatever house, in whatever place you find yourself, respect your Angel, because he is present and is very close to you. Not only is he with you but he is there for you. He tries to protect you and be useful to you. With an Angel near you, what do you have to be afraid of? Your Angel cannot let himself be conquered or deceived. He is faithful; he is prudent; he is powerful: so why are you afraid? If you were lucky enough to see the veil fall from your eyes, you would see with how much attention, with how much solicitude the Angels are in the midst of those who pray, within those who meditate, over the bed of those who are resting, over the head of those who are ruling and governing.”

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