|1. Les erreurs de Vatican II
2. Jésus-Christ est-il le Fils de Dieu?
3. Comment le Christ peut être reconnu comme le Fils de Dieu
4. Commentaires sur l´idée de l´expiation
5. La question demeure: Jésus-Christ est-il le Fils de Dieu?
6. Heureux les coeurs purs, car ils verront Dieu (Mt. 5, 8)
7. Remarques sur le traité: „Heureux les coeurs purs, car ils verront Dieu“ (Mt. 5,8)
8. Mais nous tous qui reflètons la gloire du Seigneur
9. Annexe: „Avoir Dieu en nous“
10. L´importance de l´art dans le domaine religieux
11. Informations de la rédaction
|Appendix - Having God in us
“Having God in us” – we perceive God as love
St. Bernard of Clairvaux (* around 1090, + 20.08.1153)
(from: “Sermones sancti Bernardi abbati clarevallensis super Cantica canticorum”, Straßburg, at Flach, 1497)
7. When the soul perceives this great disparity within itself, it is torn between hope and despair, and can only cry, Lord, who is like you? (Ps. 34:10) It is drawn towards despair by so great an evil, but it is recalled to hope by such great goodness. Thus it is that the more it is offended by the evil it sees in itself, the more ardently it is drawn to the good which it likewise sees in itself, and the more it desires to become its true self, simple and righteous, fearing God and turning from evil. (Job 1:1) Why can it not turn from that which it could approach? Why can it not approach what it could turn away from? But I must insist that we can only dare to undertake either of these things by grace, not by nature, nor even by effort. It is wisdom which overcomes malice, (Wis. 7:30) not effort or nature. There is no difficulty in finding grounds for hope: the soul must turn to the Word. (Cant. 7:10) The great dignity of the souls relationship with the Word, which I have been talking of for three days, is not without effect-and its enduring likeness bears witness to this relationship. The Spirit courteously admits into its fellowship one who is like him by nature. Certainly in the natural order like seeks like. This is the cry of one who seeks: Return, O Shunamite, return, that we may look upon you. (Cant. 6:12) He would not see her when she was unlike him, but when she is like him he will look upon her, and he will allow her to look upon him. We know that when he will appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (John 3:2) So think of the question, Lord, who is like you? (Ps. 34:10) in terms of difficulty, not of impossibility.
8. Or, if you prefer, it is a cry of admiration. It is assuredly a thing most marvellous and astonishing, that likeness which accompanies the vision of God, and is itself the vision. I can only describe it as subsisting in charity. This vision is charity, and the likeness is charity. Who would not be amazed at the charity of God in recalling someone who has spurned him? How deserving of censure (Ps 49:21) is the unrighteous man who was mentioned earlier as appropriating to himself the likeness of God, but who by choosing unrighteousness becomes incapable of loving either himself or God. You know the words, He who loves iniquity hates his own soul. (Ps 10:6) When the iniquity which is partly the cause of unrighteousness is taken away, there will be a oneness of spirit, a reciprocal vision, and reciprocal love. When what is perfect comes, what is partial will be done away with; (1 Cor 13:10) and the love between them will be chaste and consummated, full recognition, open vision, (1 Kings 3:1) strong unity, indivisible fellowship and perfect likeness. Then the soul will know as it is known (1 Cor. 13:10-12) and love as it is loved, and the Bridegroom will rejoice over the Bride, knowing and known, loving and loved, (Is. 6:5) Jesus Christ Our Lord, who is God above all, blessed for ever. Amen. (Rom 9:5) [Trans. By Irene Edmonds, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, MI, 1980]
About the present times St. Bernard says: “The churches lack their congregations of faithful, the faithful lack priests and the priests lack all its integrity. All what remains is a few Christians without Christ.”
Saint Bernard is, along with William of St. Thierry and Hugo of St. Victor, one of the great mystics of the Middle Ages. They have earned special merit for their theology involving the meaning of love in the theological field of studies. As these reflections of love and their epistemological importance for our problem, namely seeking for the conditions of a knowledge of Christ as Son of God, can contribute to a clarification, I quoted this reflection here. These theological reflections are also a clear mark of the mysticism of Bernard which has also definitively formed the spirituality of the Order.
One person who has rendered outstanding service to the subject of understanding this mysticism is Etienne Gilson (“Die Mystik des heiligen Bernhard von Clairvaux”, Wittlich 1936 – translated by Philotheus Böhner O.F.M.). He summarizes Bernard’s mystical approach as follows:
“To understand it as it truly is we should have to be able to seize in one unique and simple intuition the work of a God who creates man in order to associate him, by way of beatitude, with His own likeness, Who gives man back the lost likeness that he may give back the lost beatitude, and Who, while awaiting the day when the work shall be fully accomplished, gratuitously raises to like felicity souls whom the gift of charity has already made conformable to His nature—Deus charitas est—closely enough to enable them to taste even here below of the blessedness of His life. And then it is that there reigns between God and the creature made to His image, this perfect conformity, this unity of spirit, in which the human substance finds at last its full actuality; and in that creature the great work of creation is completed, for he becomes at last that very thing for which he was made—a translucid mirror in which God now sees nought but Himself, and in which the soul now sees nought but God: a created participation of His glory and of His beatitude.” [Trans. by A. H. C Downes, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, MI, 1990]
(EINSICHT of Dec. 2014, no. 4, p. 108-110)