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Thought of the day
Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church Homilies on the Song of Songs, no. 84, 1.5

Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day 

Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church 
Homilies on the Song of Songs, no. 84, 1.5

“He called those whom he wanted... so that they would be with him”

"Nightlong in my little bed I sought him whom my soul loves” (Sg 3:1). It is a great good to seek God; in my opinion the soul knows no greater blessing. It is the first of its gifts and the final stage in its progress. It is inferior to none, and it yields place to none. What could be superior to it, when nothing has a higher place? What could claim a higher place, when it is the consummation of all things? What virtue can be attributed to anyone who does not seek God? What boundary can be set for anyone who does seek him? The psalmist says: “Seek his face always” (Ps 104:4). Nor, I think, will a soul cease to seek him even when it has found him. 

It is not with steps of the feet that God is sought but with the heart's desire; and when the soul happily finds him its desire is not quenched but kinkled. Does the consummation of joy bring about the consuming of desire? Rather it is oil poured upon the flames. So it is. Joy will be fulfilled (Ps 15:11) but there will be no end to desire, and therefore no end to the search... 

That every soul among you who is seeking God may know that she has been forestalled, and that she was found before she was sought... This is what you are urged to do by the goodness of him who anticipates you, who sought him, and loved you before you loved him (1Jn 4:10). You would not seek him or love him unless you had first been sought and loved. Not only in one blessing have you been forestalled but in two, being loved as well as being sought. For the love is the reason of the search, and the search is the fruit of the love, and its certain proof. You are loved so that you may not suppose you are sought to be punished. You are sought so that you may not complain you are loved in vain.

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