Bernard de Clairvaux citations

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Bernard de Clairvaux

Date de naissance: 1090
Date de décès: 20. août 1153
Autres noms:Sv. Bernard Z Clairvaux,Sv. Bernard,San Bernardo di Chiaravalle

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Bernard de Fontaine, abbé de Clairvaux, né en 1090 ou 1091 à Fontaine-lès-Dijon et mort le 20 août 1153 à l'abbaye de Clairvaux, est un moine français, réformateur de la vie religieuse.

Directeur de conscience et important promoteur de l'ordre cistercien , il recherche par amour du Christ la mortification la plus dure. Bernard de Fontaine fait preuve, toute sa vie, d'une activité inlassable pour instruire ses moines de Clairvaux, pour émouvoir et entraîner les foules, pour allier son ordre avec la papauté et pour élaborer une idéologie militante que son ordre et toute l'église catholique mettront en œuvre.

C'est aussi un conservateur, qui réagit contre les mutations et les excès de son époque , marquée par une profonde transformation de l'économie, de la société et du pouvoir politique.

Il joue un rôle dans la transposition de la croisade en guerre sainte contre les cathares.

Mort en 1153, il est canonisé dès 1174 et devient ainsi saint Bernard de Clairvaux. Il est déclaré docteur de l'Église en 1830 par Pie VIII.

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Citations Bernard de Clairvaux

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„To learn in order to know is scandalous curiosity.“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: To learn in order to know is scandalous curiosity. (Translation from Etienne Gilson, The Mystical Theology of St. Bernard) Then you have some people who wish to know for the sake of knowing, and that is scandalous curiosity. (Translation from J. Van Herwaarden, Between Saint James and Erasmus: Studies in Late-Medieval Religious Life) Sermones in Cantica XXXVI, Migne PL 183, col. 968-969

„Among us on the earth there is His memory; but in the Kingdom of heaven His very Presence. That Presence is the joy of those who have already attained to beatitude; the memory is the comfort of us who are still wayfarers, journeying towards the Fatherland“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: Among us on the earth there is His memory; but in the Kingdom of heaven His very Presence. That Presence is the joy of those who have already attained to beatitude; the memory is the comfort of us who are still wayfarers, journeying towards the Fatherland. From, On Loving of God, Paul Halsall trans., Ch. 3

„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.“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: 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. On Grace & Free Choice, chap 14.(de Gratia Et Libero Arbitrio), Daniel O'Donovan, trans., Introduction, Bernard McGinn, Cistercian Publications, 1988, p. 37. [https://books.google.com/books?id=ODcqAAAAYAAJ&q=%22not+as+if+grace+did+one+half+of+the+work+and+free+choice+the+other%22&dq=%22not+as+if+grace+did+one+half+of+the+work+and+free+choice+the+other%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjT7I76jK_TAhUFNiYKHZrCB3gQ6AEIODAE] (Note: Fr. Harry J. McSorley, C.S.P. Commenting on this teaching of Bernard, states: "We are indebted to Bernard of Clairvaux … for the clarification that grace and free will are not related as partial causes - which would be a false synergism - but as total causes of the act of justification, each on its own proper plane. Bernard maintains the Catholic-Augustinian tradition by insisting that man's natural freedom (liberum arbitrium) remains even after the fall. It is a wretched, but nonetheless integral free will. This natural freedom of the will, possessed by the just and sinners alike, enables us to will, but not to will what is good. It is grace alone that gives us good will." Luther, Right or Wrong, (1969), Newman Press / Augsburg Publishing House, p. 133 [https://books.google.com/books?id=KaRAAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA133&dq=%22for+the+clarification+that+grace+and+free+will+are+not+related+as+partial+causes%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjX5fjGjK_TAhUKRSYKHdmfBCsQ6AEIIjAA#v=onepage&q=%22for%20the%20clarification%20that%20grace%20and%20free%20will%20are%20not%20related%20as%20partial%20causes%22&f=false]

„They deprive the dead of the help of the living, and rob the living of the prayers of the saints because they have died“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: Look at those detractors. Look at those dogs. They ridicule us for baptizing infants, praying for the dead, and asking the prayers of the saints. They lose no time in cutting Christ off from all kinds of people to both sexes, young and old, living and dead. They put infants outside the sphere of grace because they are too young to receive it, and those who are full grown because they find difficulty in preserving chastity. They deprive the dead of the help of the living, and rob the living of the prayers of the saints because they have died. God forbid! The Lord will not forsake his people who are as the sands of the sea, nor will he who redeemed all be content with a few, and those heretics.... These New Heretics, Sermon 66 on The Song of Songs. [http://www.pathsoflove.com/bernard/songofsongs/sermon66.html]

„They ridicule us for baptizing infants, praying for the dead, and asking the prayers of the saints.“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: Look at those detractors. Look at those dogs. They ridicule us for baptizing infants, praying for the dead, and asking the prayers of the saints. They lose no time in cutting Christ off from all kinds of people to both sexes, young and old, living and dead. They put infants outside the sphere of grace because they are too young to receive it, and those who are full grown because they find difficulty in preserving chastity. They deprive the dead of the help of the living, and rob the living of the prayers of the saints because they have died. God forbid! The Lord will not forsake his people who are as the sands of the sea, nor will he who redeemed all be content with a few, and those heretics.... These New Heretics, Sermon 66 on The Song of Songs. [http://www.pathsoflove.com/bernard/songofsongs/sermon66.html]

„My Beloved, look on me;
Turn me wholly unto Thee;
"Be thou whole," say openly:
"I forgive thee all."“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: Prostrate, see Thy cross I grasp, And Thy pierced feet I clasp; Gracious Jesus, spurn me not; On me, with compassion fraught, Let Thy glances fall. Thy cross of agony, My Beloved, look on me; Turn me wholly unto Thee; "Be thou whole," say openly: "I forgive thee all." Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 398

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„Human reason is snatching everything to itself, leaving nothing for faith.“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: The faith of simplicity is mocked, the secrets of Christ profaned, questions on the highest things are impertinently asked, the Fathers scorned because they were disposed to conciliate rather than solve such problems. Human reason is snatching everything to itself, leaving nothing for faith. It falls upon things which are beyond it... desecrates sacred things more than clarifies them. It does not unlock mysteries and symbols, but tears them asunder; it makes nought of everything to which it cannot gain access and disdains to believe all such things. Reported in Walter Nigg, The Heretics: Heresy Through the Ages (1962) (who cites Adolph Hausrath 1895 as a source)

„I would count him blessed and holy to whom such rapture has been vouchsafed in this mortal life, for even an instant to lose thyself,
as if thou wert emptied and lost and swallowed up in God, is no human love; it is celestial“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: I would count him blessed and holy to whom such rapture has been vouchsafed in this mortal life, for even an instant to lose thyself, as if thou wert emptied and lost and swallowed up in God, is no human love; it is celestial. But if sometimes a poor mortal feels that heavenly joy for a rapturous moment, then this wretched life envies his happiness, the malice of daily trifles disturbs him, this body of death weighs him down, the needs of the flesh are imperative, the weakness of corruption fails him, and above all brotherly love calls him back to duty. Alas! that voice summons him to re-enter his own round of existence; and he must ever cry out lamentably, ‘O Lord, I am oppressed: undertake for me’ (Isa. 38.14); and again, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ (Rom. 7.24)

„To reach this state is to become deified. As a drop of water poured into wine loses itself, and takes the color and savor of wine; or as a bar of iron, heated red-hot, becomes like fire itself, forgetting its own nature; or as the air, radiant with sun-beams, seems not so much to be illuminated as to be light itself; so in the saints all human affections melt away by some unspeakable transmutation into the will of God. For how could God be all in all, if anything merely human remained in man? The substance will endure, but in another beauty, a higher power, a greater glory.“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: Seeing that the Scripture saith, God has made all for His own glory (Isa. 43.7), surely His creatures ought to conform themselves, as much as they can, to His will. In Him should all our affections center, so that in all things we should seek only to do His will, not to please ourselves. And real happiness will come, not in gratifying our desires or in gaining transient pleasures, but in accomplishing God’s will for us: even as we pray every day: ‘Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven’ (Matt. 6.10). O chaste and holy love! O sweet and gracious affection! O pure and cleansed purpose, thoroughly washed and purged from any admixture of selfishness, and sweetened by contact with the divine will! To reach this state is to become deified. As a drop of water poured into wine loses itself, and takes the color and savor of wine; or as a bar of iron, heated red-hot, becomes like fire itself, forgetting its own nature; or as the air, radiant with sun-beams, seems not so much to be illuminated as to be light itself; so in the saints all human affections melt away by some unspeakable transmutation into the will of God. For how could God be all in all, if anything merely human remained in man? The substance will endure, but in another beauty, a higher power, a greater glory. When will that be? Who will see, who possess it? ‘When shall I come to appear before the presence of God?’ (Ps. 42.2). ‘My heart hath talked of Thee, Seek ye My face: Thy face, Lord, will I seek’ (Ps. 27.8). Lord, thinkest Thou that I, even I shall see Thy holy temple? From, On Loving of God, Paul Halsall trans., Ch. 10

„What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve.“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Context: It is commonly said: What the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve. In Festo Omnium Sanctorum, Sermo 5, sect. 5; translation from Scottish Notes and Queries, 1st series, vol. 7, p. 59

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

— Bernard of Clairvaux
Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 395

„One cannot now say, the priest is as the people, for the truth is that the people are not so bad as the priest.“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
In Conversione S. Pauli, Sermon 1, sect. 3; translation by James Spedding, in The Works of Francis Bacon (1860) vol. 12, p. 134 Ut populus, sic sacerdos is a quotation from Isaiah 24:2.

„That beast of the Apocalypse, to whom is given a mouth speaking blasphemies, and to make war with the saints, is sitting on the throne of Peter, like a lion ready for his prey.“

— Bernard of Clairvaux
To Magister Geoffrey of Loretto (afterwards Archbishop of Bordeaux), Letter 37 ( c. 1131), in Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux (1904), Dr. Samuel John Eales, trans., John Hodges, London, p. 139. [http://books.google.com/books?id=BmTZAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA139&dq=%22That+beast+of+the+Apocalypse+%28Apoc.+xiii.+5-7%29%22&lr=&ei=H1-gS9e4PJTaMcmenNIH&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22That%20beast%20of%20the%20Apocalypse%20%28Apoc.%20xiii.%205-7%29%22&f=false] "That beast" to which Bernard refers is antipope Peter Leonis.

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