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Thought of the day
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday of the Twenty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

The ignorance of those who refuse to turn to God

Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church 
Commentary on the Song of Songs, Sermon 38
The ignorance of those who refuse to turn to God

The apostle Paul says that there are some who have no knowledge of God (1 Co 15,34). My opinion is that all those who lack knowledge of God are those who refuse to turn to him. I am certain that they refuse because they imagine this kindly disposed God to be harsh and severe, this merciful God to be callous and inflexible, this lovable God to be cruel and oppressive. So it is that wickedness plays false to itself, setting up for itself an image that does not represent God as he truly is.

What are you afraid of, you men of little faith? That he will not pardon your sins? But with his own hands he has nailed them to the cross. That you are used to soft living and your tastes are fastidious? But he knows the clay of which we are made (Gn 2,7). That a prolonged habit of sinning binds you like a chain? But the Lord loosens the shackles of prisoners. Or perhaps that angered by the enormity and frequency of your sins he is slow to extend a helping hand? But where sin abounded, grace became superabundant (Rom 5,20). Are you worried about clothing and food and other bodily necessities so that you hesitate to give up your possessions? But he knows that you need all these things (Mt 6,32). What more can you wish? What else is there to hold you back from the way of salvation? This is what I say: you do not know God, yet you will not believe our words. I should like you to believe those whom experience has taught.

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