"You wish then to hear from me why and how God ought to be loved. I answer: the cause of loving God is God himself. The way to love him is without measure. Is this not enough? ... For two reasons, then, I say that God is to be loved for his own sake. No one can be more justly loved, or with greater benefit. Indeed, when it is asked why God ought to be loved, the question has two possible meanings. We may wonder which is the real question: whether God is to be loved because he deserves it, or because it is for our good. I give the same answer to both: There seems to me no good reason to love him which does not lie in himself" (On Loving God I.1.).
"And we should greatly fear that ignorance which makes us think less of ourselves than we should. But no less, indeed rather more, should we fear that ignorance which makes us think ourselves better than we are. This is what happens when we are deceived into thinking that some good in us originates with ourselves" (On Loving God II.4).
"The spirit of man, which has its place between the highest and the lowest, has an obvious need for a body, for two reasons. Without it the soul cannot act for its own benefit, or do good to others" (Sermon 5.I.5).
20 August 2007
In honor of the day
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is one of those saints that everyone should read (together with Augustine, Francis, Clare, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, etc., etc., etc.). Here are a couple of samples that should wet your appetite: