Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bernard of Clairvaux: love

Saturday, August 20, 2016
    Feast of Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher, 1153
    Commemoration of William & Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army, 1912 & 1890
    Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
    —1 John 5:1-3 (ESV)
    Honor and glory are indeed due to God and to Him alone, but He will accept neither of them if they be not preserved in the honey of love. Love is sufficient of itself; it pleases by itself and on its own account. It is itself merit and is itself its own reward. Love seeks no cause beyond itself and no fruit. It is its own fruit, its own enjoyment. I love because I love; I love that I may love. Love is a great thing provided it recurs to its beginning, returns to its origin, and draws always from that fountain which is perpetually in flood. Of all the feelings and affections of the soul, love is the only one by which the creature, though not on equal terms, is able to respond to the Creator and to repay what it has received from Him... For when God loves us He desires nothing but to be loved. He loves for no other reason, indeed, than that He may be loved, knowing that by their love itself those who love Him are blessed.
    ... Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), Cantica Canticorum (Sermons of the Song of Songs), in Bernard of Clairvaux: selected works, Gillian Rosemary Evans, tr., Paulist Press, 1987, 83:4, p. 272-273 (see the book)
    See also 1 John 5:1-3; Mark 12:32-34; Rom. 5:5; 8:28; Rev. 4:11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, quicken love within me, that I may love You above everything.
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