Saint of Honey words and honey-like persuasion.
Today is the feast of the 12th century Cistercian St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who stands as one of the few saints in Church history to have a papal encyclical written about him (see here). The pope declared Bernard doctor mellifluus, the honey-sweet doctor, for his unparalleled eloquence. Bernard was an exceptionally influential author, a persuasive negotiator and a steely-willed reformer. His massive commentary on the biblical Song of Songs stands among the greatest works of spiritual and exegetical literature in the medieval western Christian tradition (see here for an online version, and here for a good intro to B’s primary works).
All that said, the first impression I got of St. Bernard, which has kept with me to this day, is the story a Trappist monk told me about Bernard after I shared with this monk my own personal struggle with discouraging distractions during prayer.
Bernard was riding…
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