However, he didn’t hide away in the monastery. Instead, the times he spent in prayer and devotion to our Lord led him to be a reconciler, advisor, and winsome preacher and teacher used in his generation to draw others together through God’s grace and love. He noted that such love of God which he both experienced and taught molds and shapes us as he wrote, “what we love we shall grow to resemble.”
This is a great thought to reflect upon in our daily lives! What do we love? What are we growing to resemble? Whether it is a person, a desire, a habit, or goal, we are shaped and molded by whatever that may be. We may not think of it in such terms, but upon reflection we certainly see its effects. Ultimately, the call of the Christian life to love God more fully will transform us as we grow to resemble Him whom we pursue first and foremost, namely Jesus Christ our Lord. In being more transformed into the likeness of Jesus we therefore reflect Him to a world that needs to see and embrace Him.
In the many divisions of our day only Jesus can heal, restore, and bind together that which is broken. Yet, like Bernard, we can only reflect that which we love. If it is Jesus we reflect hope, if it is ourselves or some other end we only add to the myriad of empty promises and desires that are dead ends. So may we continue to abide, or persevere daily, to be in the presence of Jesus. May we do so through prayer, times in His Word, and in community as the Body of Christ, the Church, so that we may, by God’s grace be to the world what it needs most, Jesus.