Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quote: Imitating Christ's Love

I'm preparing for fall classes, which means choosing reading assignments. Right now, I'm picking sermons from Bernard of Clairvaux, On the Song of Songs. I came across this lovely passage in Sermon 20:

Christian, learn from Christ how you ought to love Christ. Learn a love that is tender, wise, strong; love with tenderness, not passion, wisdom, not foolishness, and strength, lest you become weary and turn away from the love of the Lord. Do not let the glory of the world or the pleasure of the flesh lead you astray; the wisdom of Christ should become sweeter to you than these. The light of Christ should shine so much for you that the spirit of lies and deceit will not seduce you. Finally, Christ as the strength of God should support you so that you may not be worn down by difficulties. Let love enkindle your zeal, let knowledge inform it, let constancy strengthen it. ... So love the Lord your God with the full and deep affection of your heart, love him with your mind wholly awake and discreet, love him with all your strength, so much so that you would not even fear to die for love of him.

It goes on. What beautiful language. I am always so amazed to think that a holy one who lived centuries ago can still speak the words that my heart needs to hear, the encouragement that seems timeless.

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