Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sundays with Jean

Here, indeed, is the chief hinge on which faith turns: that we do not regard the promises of mercy that God offers as true only outside ourselves, but not at all in us; rather we make them ours by inwardly embracing them.

To bear these attacks faith arms and fortifies itself with the Word of the Lord. And when any sort of temptation assails us--suggesting that God is our enemy because he is unfavorable towards us-- faith, on the other hand, replies that while he afflicts us he is also merciful because his chastisement arises out of love rather than wrath. When one is stricken by the thought that God is Avenger of iniquities, faith sets over against this the fact that his pardon is ready for all iniquities whenever the sinner betakes himself to the Lord's mercy.

Accordingly, nothing prevents believers from being afraid and at the same time possessing the surest consolation; according as they turn their eyes now upon their own vanity, and then bring the thought of their minds to bear upon God.

But climbing up to a higher watchtower, let us seek the City of God, let us seek his temple, let us seek his house, let us seek his bride. I have not forgotten..., but with fear and reverence...I say: "We, I say, are, but in the heart of God. We are, but by his dignifying us, not by our own dignity."
~III.2.25, quoting Bernard of Clairvaux

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