Thursday, 7 October 2010
This morning’s second Reading from one of S. Bernard’s sermons ends with his clear exposition of the need for man to understand God; and to do this, to ponder Him through the events of Our Blessed Lord’s life and works :
What could a man conceive of God unless he first made an image of Him in his heart ? He was above understanding, unapproachable; He was completely invisible and beyond our intellect; but now He wished to be comprehended, to be seen, to be pondered.
But how? you may ask. I answer : lying in a manger, resting on a virgin’s bosom, preaching on the mount, spending the night in prayer, or hanging on the cross, the pallor of death on His face, like one forsaken among the dead, overruling the powers of hell, or rising again on the third day, showing the apostles the print of the nails, the sign of victory, and finally ascending from their sight into heaven.
Is there anything here that cannot be reflected on, truthfully, lovingly, reverently ? If I reflect on any of these things I reflect on God, and in all of them I find my God. I call it wisdom to meditate on these things. I judge it prudence to recall the fragrance which the rod of Aaron produced so plentifully in these buds, the fragrance which Mary draws from above and pours generously on us.
Reading that gives, I think, a splendid background to the prayer with which we frequently ends the praying of the Most Holy Rosary :
O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
In other words, not only should we meditate upon the mysteries of Christ’s life because we are commanded to do so, but because by doing so it brings us to understand God’s love for the world, and His wonderful power . . . the power which will, with our co-operation, eventually bring us to Heaven : and our co-operation will, ofcourse, be both easier and more certain if we understand what we are co-operating with . . . which this meditation will greatly assist us to do.