St. Bernard of Clairvaux, doctor of the Church, and whose memorial it is today, asked himself daily, “Why have I come here?” The question reminded him to respond, “To lead a holy life.” With the challenges facing society today, it’s easy to lose sight of our purpose. We should ask ourselves that same question and respond with the same answer.
Today’s scripture readings for the Memorial of St. Bernard give us clues as to how to do just that. First, we have to accept that we are God’s Beloved, that the Father loves us as He loved His only Son, that He has loved us for all of Eternity, and that He remains in us if we remain in Him. (Jn 17:20-26). In our daily prayer we need to give thanks for His great love and return that love to Him, and then, throughout the day, pass it along to others.
We need to seek God with all our heart and desire to do His will and keep His commandments and, thus, find joy more precious than any riches. (Ps 119:9-14). We need to ask God to send His Holy Spirit into our hearts, to open them wide to receive the message of His will for us that day, make a resolution to follow through on that message, and to rejoice when we have successfully completed our resolution.
We can’t sit idly by and not try to grow in holiness. We need to sit with our Blessed Mother, Mary, Seat of Wisdom, in praying the Rosary, and trust in her to teach us as she taught her son, Jesus, to Whom she will bring us (Sir 15:1-6).
These things don’t happen by themselves. They happen when we intentionally take time daily for solitude and silence, making time for prayer and conversation with God, telling Him what’s on our heart and, more importantly, listening to Him speak to it.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love, a love so deep that You gave Your only Son so that I might live with You for all of Eternity. Thank You for the desire to do Your will and grow closer to You. And, thank You for our Blessed Mother, who gives me strength and teaches me to live a virtuous life. St. Bernard, pray for us. Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!”
(Why Are You Here? was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)
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