We all have a fundamental longing for authentic love and intimacy. But where can we find such an intimacy, and how do we express this need without fear? In these selections from his sermons on the Song of Songs, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux reflects on the biblical allegory of spiritual marriage between God the bridegroom, and our soul, the bride. Through this interpretation, he awakens you to God’s tender embrace, as well as God’s desire to have his affection reciprocated. By showing you how to accept God’s invitation to intimacy in your contemplative prayer, Saint Bernard reveals how you can fulfill your longing for pure and enduring love.
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Bernard of Clairvaux O. Cist (1090–1153) was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order. After his mother’s death, he sought admission into the Cistercian order. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val d’Absinthe, about 15 kilometers southeast of Bar-sur-Aube. According to tradition, Bernard founded the monastery on June 25, 1115, naming it Claire Vallée, which evolved into Clairvaux.