Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On the Feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux

August 20 is the feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a Cistercian monk who lived during the Middle Ages. He is a great saint and Doctor of the Church, well known for his counsels to kings and popes, his writings, and his leadership as Abbot of the monastery of Clairvaux. Though born of a rich and noble family, St. Bernard continually asked the question of himself: "For what purpose are you on earth?" This simple question is one each of us should ask of ourselves to ensure we are doing God's work and to help us remember the importance of serving God and not the world. St. Bernard had a great love for Our Lord and Our Lady. He penned numerous hymns in honor of Jesus, including the beautiful hymn “O Jesus, King Most Wonderful,” included below.

“O Jesus, King Most Wonderful”
O Jesus, King most wonderful,
Thou Conqueror renowned,
Thou Sweetness most ineffable,
In Whom all joys are found!

When once Thou visitest the heart,
Then truth begins to shine,
Then earthly vanities depart,
Then kindles love divine.

O Jesus, Light of all below,
Thou Fount of life and fire,
Surpassing all the joys we know,
And all we can desire!

Thy wondrous mercies are untold,
Through each returning day;
Thy love exceeds a thousand fold,
Whatever we can say.

May every heart confess Thy Name;
And ever Thee adore;
And seeking Thee, itself inflame,
To seek Thee more and more.

Thee may our tongues forever bless;
Thee may we love alone;
And ever in our lives express
The image of Thine own.
--St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

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