Saturday, August 20, 2022

Mellifluous Doctor

 Today is the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church. From his sermons on the Song of Songs (Sermon XII):

There have been times, if I may digress a little, when as I sat down sadly at the feet of Jesus, offering up my distressed spirit in sacrifice, recalling my sins, or again, at the rare moments when I stood by his head, filled with happiness at the memory of his favors, I could hear people saying: "Why this waste?" They complained that I thought only of myself when, in their view, I could be working for the welfare of others. In effect they said: "This could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor." But what a poor transaction for me, to forfeit my own life and procure my own destruction, even if I should gain the whole world! Hence I compared such talk to the scriptural mention of dead flies that spoil the perfumed oil, and remembered the words of God: "O my people, those who praise you lead you into error."