Friday, November 25, 2016

A Voice from the Past - Bernard of Clairvaux

In the daily trials and arising from the flesh, the world and the devil, that are never wanting to those who live devout lives in Christ, you learn by what you experience that man's life on earth is a ceaseless warfare, and are impelled to repeat your songs day after day for every victory won. As often as temptation is overcome, an immoral habit brought under control, an impending danger shunned, the trap of the seducer detected, when a passion long indulged in is finally and perfectly allayed, or a virtue persistently desired and repeatedly sought is ultimately obtained by God's gift; so often, in the words of the prophet, let thanksgiving  and joy resound. For very benefit conferred, God is to be praised in his gifts.

Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153, Sermons on the Song of Songs, Sermon 1, V, 9, ( The Works of Bernard of Clairvaux, quoted in Readings in Medieval History, Patrick J. Geary, University of Toronto Press, 2010, p. 344).

How can we develop the habit of thanking God for our spiritual victories? Is it important to develop this habit?

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