Saint Bernard on the fleetingness of the things of the world May 6, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, religious, Saints, sanctity, Society, Tradition, Victory, Virtue.
A little exegesis from St. Bernard of Clairvaux on the fleetingness of the things of the world, and our unhappiness no matter how much we possess if we fail to know, love and serve God. From a small book called On Loving God.
Not exactly unheard of revelations below, but helpful reminders all the same. As the world has decided to reject God and His Church more and more, people wander about lost, wondering why all this material wealth and comfort fails to satisfy them. Duh, they were made for much better and more enduring things. We can never be fully happy in this life, as we were designed for loving God and spending eternity with Him in Heaven, even if most fail to achieve that happy end.
It seems each generation descends more and more into impiety and lack of faith, and is thus more miserable than the one that preceded it. Have you any idea how many young people under 25 are on powerful psychotropic medications? It is a huge percentage, over 1/3 at last I heard. How many young people in particular, who have never known God, find life pointless and unfulfilling? Were people lost in such existential angst 150 years ago when wealth did not abound nearly so much but love for Jesus Christ did?
Something to consider. St. Bernard:
Men in high places are driven by insatiable ambition to clutch at still greater prizes. And nowhere is there any final satisfaction, because nothing there can be defined as absolutely the best or highest. But it is natural that nothing should content a man’s desires but the very best, as he reckons it. Is it not, then, mad folly always to be craving for things which can never quiet our longings, much less satisfy them? No matter how many such things one has, he is always lusting after what he has not; never at peace, he sighs for new possessions. [Is this not so very true?] Discontented, he spends himself in fruitless toil, and finds only weariness in the evanescent and unreal pleasures of the world. In his greediness, he counts all that he has clutched as nothing in comparison with what is beyond his grasp, and loses all pleasure in his actual possessions by longing after what he has not, yet covets.
…….Ah, but if you wish to attain to the consummation of all desire, so that nothing unfulfilled will be left, why weary yourself with fruitless efforts, running hither and thither, only to die long before the goal is reached?
It is so that these impious ones wander in a circle, longing after something to gratify their yearnings, yet madly rejecting that which alone can bring them to their desired end, not by exhaustion but by attainment. They wear themselves out in vain travail, without reaching their blessed consummation, because they delight in creatures, not in the Creator. They want to traverse creation, trying all things one by one, rather than think of coming to Him Who is Lord of all. And if their utmost longing were realized, so that they should have all the world for their own, yet without possessing Him Who is the Author of all being, then the same law of their desires would make them contemn what they had and restlessly seek Him Whom they still lacked, that is, God Himself. Rest is in Him alone.
Man knows no peace in the world; but he has no disturbance when he is with God. And so the soul says with confidence, ‘Whom have I in Heaven but Thee; and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee. God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. It is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord God (Ps lxxiii:25)……….
……….A small thing that the righteous have is better than great riches of the ungodly (Ps xxxvii:16).
That’s all, but I thought it pretty good. Thank you, St. Bernard, and thank you still more, Lord, for so inspiring him.