Sunday, November 4, 2012

4 November 2012 Sunday: The External Solemnity of All Saints

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

A superlative day! Fr. Duncan was back with us so we were able to have a Solemn Mass. He also preached a great sermon. The choir sang among other things In Memoria Aeterna from Vivaldi's Beatus Vir. Rick, the grandfather of Jackson, had good things to report: Jackson is breathing on his own, swallowing, and tracking with his eyes. His MRI is also encouraging. Deo Gratias! The Novena ends on Tuesday but we need to keep this little one in our prayers.

We had several visitors today. But most wonderful of all a church full of babies with more on the way, a sign of God's mercy towards us and a manifestation of the Catholic Faith being taught and lived. 

Largely in response to a question that arose recently in spiritual direction I began today a series of talks on St. Bernard of Clairvaux's On Loving God . 

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 soul purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.

--St. Bernard of Clairvaux

The Paradox: God must be loved for Himself but it is to our advantage to love Him. If  you love someone to get something, you love the something rather than the someone by which something is given. Yet that which the love of God seeks is God Himself.

I reminded St Francisfolk and so I remind anyone who cares to listen: Christians have an obligation to vote and to do so in accordance with a conscience informed by the Christian Faith. Contrary to what we sometimes hear these days it is simply not possible for a mature, practicing Christian to wall off his religion from his political decisions. Enough said.

No comments: