Daily Reflection 20 August 2008: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Collect of the Day:

Lord, remember the new covenant, which has been sealed with the blood of the Lamb.
 May your people receive forgiveness for their sins
 and move ever forward towards redemption.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
 who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
 God for ever and ever.
Amen.

About the Saint:

Saint Bernard was .born 1090, probably Fontaine-les-Dijons, near Dijon, Burgundy—died Aug. 20, 1153, Clairvaux, Champagne; canonized 1174; feast day August 20. He was a French Cistercian monk, mystic, and doctor of the church. Born into an aristocratic family near Dijon, he turned away from a literary education for the monastic life, entering the austere religious community at Cîteaux in 1112. As abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux, Champagne, which he founded in 1115, he helped establish the widespread popularity of the order. Between 1130 and 1145 he mediated civil and ecclesiastical councils and theological debates, and his support for Pope Innocent II helped secure the papacy during the schism with Anacletus. Bernard was the confidant of five popes and became perhaps the most renowned religious figure in Europe. He actively preached the Second Crusade and wrote a number of sermons on the Song of Solomon. He opposed the teachings of Peter Abelard and Henry of Lausanne and defended devotion to the Virgin Mary.

A Hymn by Saint Bernard:

Jesu, Thy mercies are untold.

Jesu, Thy mercies are untold
Through each returning day;
Thy love exceeds a thousandfold
Whatever we can say.

That love which in Thy passion drained
For us Thy precious blood;
That love whereby the saints have gained
The vision of their God.

’Tis Thou hast loved us from the womb,
Pure Source of all our bliss,
Our only hope of life to come,
Our happiness in this.

Lord, grant us, while on earth we stay,
Thy love to feel and know;
And, when from hence we pass away,
To us Thy glory show.

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