Readings for the Memorial of

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Abbot and Doctor of the Church

"Last of the Fathers"
August 20

Go to the Liturgy of the Hours


MASS


ENTRANCE SONG          
Replevit beatum Bernardum Dominus spiritu intellegentiae, et ipse fluenta doctrinae ministravit populo Dei.
Filled by the Lord with a spirit of understanding,
blessed Bernard ministered streams of clear teaching
to the people of God.


COLLECT
Deus, qui beatum Bernardum abbatem, zelo domus tuae succensum, in Ecclesia tua lucere simul et ardere fecisti, eius nobis intercessione concede, ut, eodem spiritu ferventes, tamquam filii lucis iugiter ambulemus.
O God, who made of the Abbot Saint Bernard
a man consumed with zeal for your house
and a light shining and burning in your Church,
grant, through his intercession,
that we may be on fire with the same spirit
and walk always as children of light.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


FIRST READING          Sirach 15:1-6
He who fears the LORD will do this;
   he who is practiced in the law will come to wisdom.
Motherlike she will meet him,
   like a young bride she will embrace him,
Nourish him with the bread of understanding,
   and give him the water of learning to drink.
He will lean upon her and not fall,
   he will trust in her and not be put to shame.
She will exalt him above his fellows;
   in the assembly she will make him eloquent.
Joy and gladness he will find,
   an everlasting name inherit..


RESPONSORIAL PSALM          Ps 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
Doce me, Domine, iustificationes tuas.

R. Lord, teach me your statues.
How can the young walk without fault?
Only by keeping your words.
R. Lord, teach me your statues.
With all my heart I seek you;
do not let me stray from your commands.
R. Lord, teach me your statues.
In my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R. Lord, teach me your statues.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your laws.
R. Lord, teach me your statues.
With my lips I recite
all the edicts you have spoken.
R. Lord, teach me your statues.
I find joy in the way of your decrees
more than in all riches.
R. Lord, teach me your statues.


ALLELUIA          John 15:9b,5b
Remain in my love, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.


GOSPEL          John 17:21-26
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
"Holy Father,
I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them."


PRAYER OVER THE OFFERINGS
Maiestati tuae, Domine, unitatis et pacis offerimus sacramentum, sancti Bernardi abbatis memoriam recolentes, qui, verbo et opere praeclarus, Ecclesiae tuae ordinis concordiam strenue procuravit.
We offer to your majesty, O Lord,
the Sacrament of unity and peace,
as we celebrate the Memorial of the Abbot Saint Bernard,
a man outstanding in word and deed,
who strove to bring order and concord to your Church.
Through Christ our Lord.


COMMUNION ANTIPHON          Jn 15:9
Sicut dilexit me Pater, et ego dilexi vos, dicit Dominus; manete in dilectione mea.
As the Father loves me, so I also love you;
remain in my love, says the Lord.


PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
Cibus, quem sumpsimus, Domine, in celebratione beati Bernardi, suum in nobis operetur effectum, ut, eius exemplis roborati et monitis eruditi, Verbi tui incarnati rapiamur amore.
May the food we have received, O Lord,
as we honor Saint Bernard,
work its effect in us,
so that, strengthened by his example
and instructed by his teaching,
we may be caught up in love of your incarnate Word.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever


The Liturgy of the Hours
Bernard of Clairvaux


From the Common of Doctors or of Holy Men: religious, except for the following:

Morning Prayer
BENEDICTUS (Canticle of Zechariah)
Antiphon: Blessed Bernard, your life, flooded by the splendor of the divine Word, illumines the church with the light of true faith and doctrine.

Evening Prayer
MAGNIFICAT (Canticle of Mary)
Antiphon: Bernard, eloquent doctor of the church, friend of Christ the Bridegroom, eminent preacher of the Virgin Mother's glory, at Clairvaux you become the illustrious shepherd of your followers.

Office of Readings



SECOND READING

From a sermon by St. Bernard, abbot
(Sermo.83:4-6; Opera omnia, Edit. Cisterc. 2 (1958), 300-302)

I love because I love, I love that I may love

Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice. I love because I love, I love that I may love. Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes it. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him.

The Bridegroom’s love, or rather the love which is the Bridegroom, asks in return nothing but faithful love. Let the beloved, then, love in return. Should not a bride love, and above all, Love’s bride? Could it be that Love not be loved?

Rightly then does she give up all other feelings and give herself wholly to love alone; in giving love back, all she can do is to respond to love. And when she has poured out her whole being in love, what is that in comparison with the unceasing torrent of that original source? Clearly, lover and Love, soul and Word, bride and Bridegroom, creature and Creator do not flow with the same volume; one might as well equate a thirsty man with the fountain.

What then of the bride’s hope, her aching desire, her passionate love, her confident assurance? Is all this to wilt just because she cannot match stride for stride with her giant, any more than she can vie with honey for sweetness, rival the lamb for gentleness, show herself as white as the lily, burn as bright as the sun, be equal in love with him who is Love? No. It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the perfect union of two hearts that complete and total marriage consists. Or are we to doubt that the soul is loved by the Word first and with a greater love?


RESPONSORY          Psalm 31:20; 38:9
Lord, how great are the hidden treasures of your goodness,
- which you have stored up for those who have feared you.

They are filled with the bounty of your house;
and you give them to drink from the stream of your delights.
- Which you have stored up for those who have feared you.


COLLECT
O God, who made of the Abbot Saint Bernard
a man consumed with zeal for your house
and a light shining and burning in your Church,
grant, through his intercession,
that we may be on fire with the same spirit
and walk always as children of light.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


The English translation of Psalm Responses, Alleluia Verses, Gospel Verses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL); the English translation of Antiphons, Invitatories, Responsories, Intercessions, Psalm 95, the Canticle of the Lamb, Psalm Prayers, Non-Biblical Readings from The Liturgy of the Hours © 1973, 1974, 1975, ICEL; excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, ICEL. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

 
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