Today's art features St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 - 1153), known primarily for his reform of the Cistercian monastic order. Bernard was also commissioned by the pope to preach the Second Crusade. A Doctor of the Church, Bernard was the first Cistercian monk to be placed on the Calendar of Saints.
Blessed are you, God of all radiance,
for you crowned Jesus with glory and splendor
and gave Christ eternal light for a mantle.
In Christ you have destroyed the sting of death.
You grace us with your splendor
and make us yearn for the coming of your reign.
The power of your Spirit
is roused in our midst,
and you bid us to tasks of love
for the good of all humankind.
As daylight breaks upon us,
all glory and honor be yours
through Christ and the Holy Spirit
forever and ever. Amen.
Read Psalm 54
Monastic Wisdom on Prayer
Benedict says that the Lord's Prayer is to be recited aloud twice daily. To fail to forgive is to be trapped in the past, caught up in resentment and bitterness, staying with wounds that remain open and raw -- everything that will prevent new life and new growth. It is not only damaging to the individual , but destructive of community as well. I am choosing death rather than life, and Benedict, who is trying to lead us all the time forward into freedom and fullness of life, wants to rescue me.
God of all the universe, we give you praise at every moment of our lives. Dispel from our hearts the darkness of sin and despair. May your light ever guide our days. We ask this through Christ, the compassionate one. Amen.