Do Not Love the World… (Bernard)

Around the year 1129 AD St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote a letter to Alexander, a bishop who was known for his greed and injustice.  Among other things, Bernard addressed Alexander’s greed.  This is worth thinking about today.   He said,

“[I exhort you] lovingly not to take the glory of the world seriously as something that will last, and so lose that glory that will never pass away.  Do not love your possessions more than yourself or for your own sake, and so lose both your possessions and yourself.  Do not let the pleasure of your present prosperity hide your end from you, or endless adversity will follow.  Do not let the joy of this world bring about while concealing from you, and conceal from you while bringing it about, the grief that is everlasting.  Do not think death is a long way off, for it may catch you when you are not ready; and when you think life will go on and on, it may suddenly come to an end when you are in the wrong frame of mine, as it is written ‘When they are saying, ‘Peace and security,’ then suddenly death will come, like the pains of a woman in labor, and they will not escape it.‘ (1 Thes. 5.3).”

shane lems

sunnyside wa