St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Those to whom what I have said is plain will also, I think, plainly see why God should be loved: that is, whence He deserves to be loved. But if unbelievers blind themselves to these truths, God is still ready to confound their ingratitude with His numberless benefits conferred for man’s advantage and manifest to human sense. Who else, forsooth, supplies food to everyone who eats, light to everyone who sees, breath to everyone who breathes? But it is foolish to strive to enumerate what I have just spoken of as innumerable. It is enough, by way of example, to have mentioned the chief ones — bread, sun, and air. The chief ones, I mean, not because they are superior but because they are more necessary since they pertain to the body. — from On the Necessity of Loving God, chapter II

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–August 20, 1153) was a French theologian and Cistercian monk, considered the primary cause for the success of the reformed Cistercian order. A due and proper love for God was a manifest theme in both his writings and his life. Besides writing and preaching on love, he also suppressed heresies, healed schisms, and preached the defensive action against Turkish Muslims known as the Second Crusade (1145–1149). He was made doctor of the church in 1826.

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