Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
1091
1153

French Ecclesiastic Abbot and primary builder of the Cistercian Order

Author Quotes

It is a misery to be born, a pain to live, a trouble to die.

It is enough for merit to know that merit is not enough. But as merit must not presume on merit, so lack of merit must bring judgment. Furthermore, children re-born in baptism are not without merit, but possess the merits of Christ; but they make themselves unworthy of these if they do not add their own??not because of inability, but because of neglect; this is the danger of maturity. Henceforward, take care that you possess merit; when you possess it, you will know it as a gift. Hope for its fruit, the mercy of God, and you will escape all danger of poverty, ingratitude, and presumption.

Many of those who are humiliated are not humble. Some react to humiliation with anger, others with patience, and others with freedom. The first are culpable, the next harmless, the last just.

Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire... Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed (James 1:14). But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives.

O Source of peace ineffable, in whom all joys are found: when once you visit darkened hearts then truth begins to shine, then earthly vanity departs, then kindles love divine? light of all below, the fount of life and fire, surpassing all the joys we know, all that we can desire: may ev'ry heart confess your name, forever you adore, and, seeking you, itself inflame to seek you more and more! Oh, may our tongues forever bless, may we love you alone and ever in our lives express the image of your own!

It is a misery to be born, a pain to live, a trouble to die.

The tears of penitents are the wine of angels.

"My burden is light," said the blessed Redeemer, a light burden indeed, which carries him that bears it. I have looked through all nature for a resemblance of this, and seem to find a shadow of it in the wings of a bird, which are indeed borne by the creature, and yet support her flight towards heaven.

It is commonly said: What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve.

The true measure of loving God is to love Him without measure.

A pretext is never lacking to him who would break with a friend.

It suffices me for attaining to all righteousness, to have Him alone propitious toward me against whom alone I have sinned... Not to sin is the righteousness of God: Man's righteousness is God's forgiveness.

We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place for those who love us.

Ah! from how great bitterness of soul have you often delivered me, O Good Jesus, coming to me!... How often has prayer taken me on the brink of despair, and restored me to the state of soul of one exulting in joy and confident forgiveness. Those who are afflicted in this way, behold they know that the Lord Jesus is truly a Physician Who healeth the broken of heart and bindeth up their bruises.

It’s not as if grace did one half of the work and free choice the other; each does the whole work, in its own peculiar contribution. Grace does the whole work, and so does free choice – with this one qualification: That whereas the whole is done in free choice, so is the whole done of grace.

What I know of the divine science and Holy Scriptures, I learnt in woods and fields.

Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.

Love is sufficient of itself; it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in the practice. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return. The sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.

What we love we shall grow to resemble.

Give Him glory once for offenses pardoned; give it again for virtues conferred.

My burden is light, said the blessed Redeemer, a light burden indeed, which carries him that bears it. I have looked through all nature for a resemblance of this, and seem to find a shadow of it in the wings of a bird, which are indeed borne by the creature, and yet support her flight towards heaven.

Who loves me, loves my dog.

Great faith merits great rewards. And wherever you set down the foot of hope among the goods of the Lord, they will be yours.

Nothing can work me damage except myself. The harm that I sustain I carry about with me, and am never a real sufferer but by my own fault.

You were sinning, oh man, in darkness and in the shadow of death through ignorance of truth. You were sitting bound by the chains of sin. He down to prison not to torture you, but to rescue you from the power of darkness. And first the Teacher of truth dispelled the darkness of ignorance by the light of His wisdom. The by the righteousness of faith he loosed the bonds of sin, freely justifying the sinner.

Author Picture
First Name
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Birth Date
1091
Death Date
1153
Bio

French Ecclesiastic Abbot and primary builder of the Cistercian Order