Advent at the School of St. Bernard (18)

December 23, 2020
The Holy Family - Titian

Do not think that what I have been saying about the coming of the middle advent is an invention on my part.

Listen, in fact, to what the Lord Himself says: “If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him” (Jn. 14:23).

But what does He mean by these words: “If any one love Me, he will keep My word”? I have read elsewhere in Holy Scripture that “He that feareth God, will do good” (Eccles. 15:1). Now, there is something more here for the one who loves Him, for it is said that He will keep His word. But where are these words to be kept? There can be no doubt that it is in his heart, according to the words of the Psalmist: “Thy words have I hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against thee” (Ps. 118:11).

But how will he keep these words in his heart? Is it enough to preserve the memory of them? To those who keep them this way, the Apostle will warn: “Knowledge puffeth up” (1Cor. 8:1). Besides, oblivion quickly erases what we have entrusted to memory. So keep the word of God in the same way in which you store food for the body most successfully, for this word itself is living bread, the true food of the soul. However, material bread stored in the cupboard can be stolen by thieves, eaten by rats, or spoiled as it ages. But once it has been eaten, it escapes all these dangers. So, keep the word of God in the same way, for “blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it” (Lk 11:28). So entrust this spiritual bread to the very bowels of your soul, if I may say so, and let it be transmitted to the affections and the will.

The Holy Family – Titian (circa 1510)

Illustration :

Title : La Sainte Famille
Artist : Le Titien
Date : 1510