By Rosie Moore

“Jesus, the very thought of thee with sweetness fills my breast,

but sweeter far thy face to see, And in thy presence rest.

O hope of every contrite heart, O joy of all the meek,

to those who fall,  how kind thou art!

How good to those who seek!….

Jesus, our only joy be thou,

as thou our prize wilt be,

Jesus, be thou our glory now,

and through eternity.”

These beautiful words were transcribed by Bernard of Clairvaux. Who? you ask.

Bernard was born in 1090 to parents who both belonged to the highest nobility of Burgundy. He was the third of a family of seven children, six of whom were sons. He had a great taste for literature and devoted himself for some time to poetry.

His mother died when he was nineteen and at the age of twenty-two he was at prayer in a church and felt the calling of God to become a monk. Three years later he and twelve other monks founded a monastery which Bernard called Clairvaux. His father and brothers all entered Clairvaux to pursue a religious life. He composed many and varied spiritual works that still speak to us today.

“Love has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. This is what love looks like.”

Written by Augustine of Hippo (Algeria) also known as Saint Augustine, who was a Christian theologian and philosopher. At the age of thirty -one he converted to Christianity. His conversion was prompted by a childlike voice he heard telling him  “to take up and read” which he took as a divine command to open the Bible and read the first thing he saw. The specific part to which he opened his Bible was Romans, chapter 13, verses 13 and 14.

It is remarkable to me that through the centuries, through the Crusades, through the persecution of Christians, there were men such as these two who stood firm in their beliefs, who loved God with all their soul and passed to future generations, the fruits of their labors. We are able to enjoy their writings, their music, their poetry and their spiritual moments.

They were and are a blessing.


Thought for the day: Five Jewish men influenced the history of Western civilization:

Moses said the law is everything.

Jesus said love is everything.

Marx said capital is everything.

Freud said sex is everything.

Einstein said everything is relative.


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