Thought of the day
Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursday of the Fourth week of Lent

"I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me"

Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church 
Sermons on the Song of Songs, no.20, § 2 (trans. ©Classics of Western spirituality)
"I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me"

Above all, O good Jesus, I love you for the chalice you drained for our redemption... It is this that most sweetly allures our love, most justly exacts it, most closely binds it and makes it the most vehement. For on that day our Savior underwent immense labor and the Creator himself did not have as much trouble in forming the entire universe. Of that mighty work we read: "He spoke and they were made; He commanded and they were created." Whereas, in order to redeem us, the Savior had to affirm his words before those who contradicted him, defend his actions against a hostile surveillance, undergo torment before his mockers and death in the midst of reproaches. He loved us even to this point. 

Remember, too, that in this he was not loving anybody in return but of himself. For: "who has given him anything that he should be repaid?” (Rm 11,35). Rather, as Saint John the Evangelist says: “Not that we have loved God but that he has first loved us" (1Jn 4,10). To sum up, he loved us even before we existed, and, what is more, loved us when we resisted him, as St. Paul testifies: "While we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son" (Rm 5,10). For if he had not loved us when we were His enemies, he would have had no friends and if he had not loved those who did not as yet exist, he would never have had anyone to love at all.

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