20 August 2009

Our Lady and St. Bernard

We couldn't have chosen a better day to erect the new statue of Our Lady of the Eucharist in our monastery garden. Last year the brick path (which ends at the statue) was put in and we had to wait until we were able to find (and ultimately build) a pedestal large enough for this beautiful statue.

St. Bernard had a great devotion to Our Lady. So well known was this devotion that Dante had St. Bernard act as his guide in canto 31 of his "Paradiso" as he shows the glory of the Blessed Mother. In addition to his many sermons and letters, St. Bernard also penned a beautiful commentary on the first two chapters of The Song of Songs. In his work, "On the Love of God" (De amore Dei), he asks how, as creatures, we can possibly love God as well as He loves us. He punctuates the discussion with this thought: "Nothing is lacking where everything is given." Perhaps that is the 12th century way of saying "Do the best you can!"

St. Francis de Sales on St. Bernard:

"For as the glorious St. Bernard says: 'It is written in particular of man that he never continueth in the same state; he necessarily either goes forward or returns backward. All run indeed but one obtains the prize, so run that you may obtain. Who is the prize but Jesus Christ? And how can you take hold on him if you follow him not? But if you follow him you will march and run continually, for he never stayed, but continued his course of love and obedience until death and the death of the cross.' Go then, says St. Bernard; go, I say with him; go and admit no other bounds than those of life, and as long as it remains run after this Savior. But run ardently and swiftly: for what better will you be for following him, if you be not so happy as to take hold of him!"

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