Thursday, December 01, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today’s text

From a sermon by Saint Bernard (abbot, 1090-1153)

Keep God’s word in this way. Let it enter into your very being, let it take possession of your desires and your whole way of life. Feed on goodness, and your soul will delight in its richness. Remember to eat your bread, or your heart will wither away. Fill your soul with richness and strength. If you keep the world of God in this way, it will also keep you. The Son and the Father will come to you.


Come to us, O Lord and set us free from bondage to our fears and sorrows, our selfish sins and worried souls, anxious for the future. Come to us and remove every impediment that prevents our entry into the heaven of your nearness, the presence that sets our hearts to soar.

There are three comings of our Lord, Saint Bernard tells us. Two are visible, one is not. The first is the appearance of a child in Mary’s arms, come to win our hearts with the humble courtesy of God. Our Lord comes not to overwhelm but to awaken love in us. The Immortal and Incomprehensible One puts all that aside to touch our flesh with divine gentleness.

In the final appearance, our Lord will come in glory to lift every valley and make low every mountain, to raise up the downtrodden and judge the proud and indifferent, and make all things new. All will reflect God’s glory, and we shall see it. Not like now, when we see … but so dimly, as if through dirty lenses, and so occasionally as if God’s glory was not visible in all God has made.

These two comings of God are visible, but in between is a silent and hidden appearance as God comes to our souls and lives there, seeping through the pores of our being to reveal the Love that God is, however obscured by our faults and failings.

This coming of our Lord is a path, a way that we walk. Each day is an invitation to enter again the goodness of the One who is all goodness, to taste the Love of the One who is all Love, to witness the beauty of the One is all beauty. Each morning is an invitation to draw the breath of earth into our lungs and know every breath as the hunger of God to give us life as a holy and irreplaceable gift.

So I come again, O Lord, to the start of the day. I come seeking to hear and be blessed by your word, hungry to see, no, to feel the Love that is the boundless source of every love and all life, so that you may live and have greater place in me.

I have no idea how this happens. I cannot describe the way it occurs. I only know that when I listen to you, when I read the words you speak through prophets and saints and in the stories how you came to us in the gentle flesh of Jesus, when I do this I find a life of gentleness and grace that takes larger place in me.

And in this I know you, and I know that although I keep your word … it is you who are keeping me.

Pr. David L. Miller

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