Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Saint Bernard

All of our desires, the lot of them, the loftiest to most disreputable, have a great brilliant message. They reveal to us the depth of our need for God, for his mercy. They reveal as well the fathomless extent of God’s desire for each of us, his desire to fill our hearts with himself. He has made us for himself. He has no illusions about who we are, and he only quietly awaits a small yes from us to enter our hearts.

If only we really understood the depth of God’s love and desire for each of us, then everything would be changed, transformed. “His desire gives rise to yours,” says Saint Bernard, “and if you are eager to receive his word, it is He who is rushing to enter your heart; for He first loved us, not we Him.”

God alone can satisfy our desire. Anything less will always only leave us frustrated and empty. And God cannot bear to see us that way- empty, unfulfilled. Perhaps like Saint Bernard we long to be dissolved and be with God in Christ? Rest assured, God wants it more than we can possibly imagine.

Francisco Ribalta, Christ Embracing Saint Bernard, Oil on canvas, 1625-1627, 113 x 158 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid.