Thursday of Week 20: St Bernard was a lot more than his namesake.
I am saving you the punishment of having to look at my face this morning but there is much to tell you and the video is just not long enough!
Firstly, thank you to all who have enquired and prayed for Biddy Adami. As we go to press, she is still in hospital, having taken a bad turn on Tuesday but has since stabilised and is showing improvement. Please keep the prayers coming. Thank you.
Secondly, we are scheduled to have our bi-weekly Zoom chat this evening. However, some of you may be affected by our fiends (Sorry – Freudian slip!) at Eskom and won’t be able to join us. A request, therefore, is that you let us know when it might suit you better and we might set up another session. I have already received one request for an afternoon slot and further suggestions will be welcome. Please message me directly. Thank you.
Today is the feast of St Bernard. When I Googled this, all I got was information about a dog! When I think about St Bernard dogs, I get this image of a large animal beating through the snow and with a barrel of brandy around its neck. To a certain extent, this is factual, since these dogs are credited with locating and saving around 2000 people in the Alps – but the barrel of brandy part is not substantiated.
The actual St Bernard lived in France in the early 12th Century and was a monk in the Cistercian Order. At the time the church held highly influential positions in society which resulted in many men seeking the priesthood for entirely the wrong reason. The monks, however, were among the poorer orders who served the people through difficult times.
St Bernard became a well-known and respected theologian with a deep spirituality. He was offered the position of bishop on several occasions but declined each time. As a monk, he led a simple life and challenged the hypocrisy and corruption that existed within some of the clergy but also received approval from, inter alia, the papacy.
His example of focusing on the spiritual growth of the people and sticking to his principles while challenging errant people in authority is one that we should all admire and emulate.
Have a wonderful day.
God bless and stay safe. Dc Mike & the team.