Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

There is a great natural gift within us

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Why should the soul not venture with confidence into the presence of him by whose image she sees herself honored, and in whose likeness she knows herself made glorious? Why should she fear a majesty when her very origin gives her ground for confidence? All she has to do is to take care to preserve her natural purity by innocence of life, or rather to study to beautify and adorn with the brightness of her actions and dispositions the glorious beauty which is her birthright.

Why then do we not set to work? There is a great natural gift within us, and if it is not allowed full play the rest of our nature will go to ruin, as though it were being eaten away by the rust of decay. This would be an insult to its Creator.

Bernard of Clairvaux
On the Song of Songs 83.1-2; CF 40:181.

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