St Bernard – Memorial

From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot

I love because I love, I love that I may love

Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.

The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love, and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?

Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone; in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom, creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a thirsty man with the fountain.

What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance? Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of two hearts that complete and total marriage consists. Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?

Praying With The Church – Update

If you have not checked out DivineOffice.org yet, Holy Week is the perfect time to begin praying with the Church with the help of this wonderful ministry.  Divine Office is produced by Dane Falkner and some very dedicated and talented people.  It’s purpose is to promote “the tradition of praying always through these ancient treasures of the Church, not only to Catholics but to all Christians universally.”

Here are the wonder workers, Dane, Chriss, Denise and Greg:

DivineOffice.org provides daily free podcast of the Divine Office, definitely 5 star! plus iPhone App made available through iTunes (extremely affordable.)

Having a virtual community is great when you know they are real people reaching out to no less than the world.  The music, professional presentation of the daily inspirational scriptures, readings and prayers, has enriched my experience of listening to and praying the Divine Office.  As I said, Check them out!

Praying With the Church

If you have not checked out DivineOffice.org yet, Holy Week is the perfect time to begin praying with the Church with the help of this wonderful ministry.  Divine Office is produced by Dane Falkner and some very dedicated and talented people.  It’s purpose is to promote “the tradition of praying always through these ancient treasures of the Church, not only to Catholics but to all Christians universally.”

Fear of the Lord – St. Hilary

From the Office of the Day – St Hilary, Early Church Father & Doctor of the Church:


“Fear” is not to be taken in the sense that common usage gives it. Fear in this ordinary sense is the trepidation our weak humanity feels when it is afraid of suffering something it does not want to happen. We are afraid, or made afraid, because of a guilty conscience, the rights of someone more powerful, an attack from one who is stronger, sickness, encountering a wild beast, suffering evil in any form. This kind of fear is not taught: it happens because we are weak. We do not have to learn what we should fear: objects of fear bring their own terror with them.
From the Office of the Day – But of the fear of the Lord this is what is written: Come, my children, listen to me, I shall teach you the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord has then to be learned because it can be taught. It does not lie in terror, but in something that can be taught. It does not arise from the fearfulness of our nature; it has to be acquired by obedience to the commandments, by holiness of life and by knowledge of the truth.


For us the fear of God consists wholly in love, and perfect love of God brings our fear of him to its perfection. Our love for God is entrusted with its own responsibility: to observe his counsels, to obey his laws, to trust his promises.

That Your Joy May Be Full!


Good Morning, Everyone!  This is a good day, even particularly in a troubled world, to praise the Lord.

As the day begins, this antiphon from today’s Office of Readings sounds in God’s ear, rising from the lips of those praying around the world.

“Lord, You know the burden of my sorrow.”

God’s response is, “Ask that you may receive and your joy will be full.”

Prayer:

“Rise up Lord in defense of Your people.  Do not hide Your Face from our

troubles.”


Pluggin' Away

Prayer in the wee small hours, at Adoration or on the go, what a blessing!  Listening and praying with a community at prayer, that’s what DivineOffice.org offers.  It’s a banquet that Lent allows, even encourages!  It is also good to remember that the Liturgy of the Hours is meant to be prayed aloud and in community.

Dane , the producer, offers free daily inspirational scriptures and prayers. His crew is talented and dedicated to bringing us Divine Office.  They are “promoting the tradition of praying always through these ancient treasures of the Church.”  This is not a blessing for Catholics only but for all Christians universally.

Lent is here.  “There are few better ways to improve your observance of this season then to pray the Liturgy of the Hours as often as your schedule allows,” according to Dane at  Divine Office.org.  He says, “Instead of laying something down for Lent, you may want to consider taking something up… a renewed and invigorated dedication to prayer.”

“We hope everyone will enjoy these free daily inspirational scriptures and prayers. Listening to psalms in the morning as you start your day or at the conclusion in the evening is a wonderful form of prayer.”Dane