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Love of Bridegroom and Bride - St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Love of Bridegroom and Bride
 
 
 
St. Bernard,Catholic Church, LoveThis excerpt from a sermon of St. Bernard (Sermo 83, 4-6; Opera omnia, Edit. Cisterc 2 [1958], 300-302) treats of one of his favorite themes, the love relationship between God as bridegroom and the individual soul as bride, according the Song of Songs (otherwise known as the Canticle of Canticles or Song of Solomon).  It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the memorial of St. Bernard of Clairvaux on Aug 20.  St. Bernard of  Clairvaux was clearly one of the greatest preachers of all time.  He was one of the early heroes of the Cistercian order of monks and, as abbot, founded over 40 monasteries and personally attracted hundreds to monastic life, including many of his relatives.  His magnetic preaching and exemplary character changed the lives of thousands and his writing continues today to inspire Christians everywhere.  His words were so sweet that he came to be known as the Melifluous ("full of honey") Doctor.  St. Bernard died in 1153 and was later proclaimed a saint and a Doctor of the Church.  His feast day in the Roman Calendar is August 20.
 
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?
 
 

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Love that Lasts: A Vision for Christian Marriage - 3 CD
 Love that Lasts: A Vision for Christian Marriage - 3 CD “Love that Lasts: A Vision for Christian Marriage” is the fruit of years of both study and experience. Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio is an internationally known Catholic speaker, author, and media personality. But he is also a husband and father of five children who illustrates his teaching with an abundance of practical tips and humorous examples from his own family life. This trilogy of talks, originally given as a marriage retreat at the world famous Cooper Clinic in Dallas, is a perfect gift for engaged couples and newlyweds seeking to lay a solid foundation for the marriage and family. But it is also a superb tool to help refresh and renew married couples who have been together for many years.

 


The Catholic Church on Sex, Marriage, Divorce and Annulment - 2 Audio CDs
 Catholic Church, Love, Sex, Marriage, Divorce, Annulment, sacrament of matrimony Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio In these two talks on marriage, Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Catholic theologian and father of five, explains why the Catholic Church is a champion, not enemy, of love and intimacy. The Catholic position on Divorce and Annulment is also explained.

 


 

How Mary and the Rosary Can Change Your Life -CD Set
 Blessed Virgin Mary, Rosary, Catholic Church,Devotion to Mary, Mother of God, Praying the Rosary Two talk set by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio that explains the Virgin Mary as the model of faith, the true meaning of the Rosary and how both can change your life! Wonderful for anyone who has questions about the Catholic belief with regards to Mary and the Rosary!

 


 

 

 

I Believe - The Heart of the Catholic Faith - DVD Set
In this dynamic, four-part faith formation series, on the Creed, Dr. D'Ambrosio explains how this expression of the basic beliefs of Roman Catholicism is relevant to our personal relationship with God.


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