Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

"Perfect participation in the Light, Life and Love
that God has for Himself in the Unity of Spirit:
To be thus, is to be Deified"

–St. Bernard of Clairvaux

+ + +

Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts
The Fourth Degree of Love

Jesus, thou joy of loving hearts,
Thou fount of life, thou Light of men,
From the poor bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to thee again.

Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those who on thee call;
To them that seek thee, thou art good,
To them that find thee, all in all.

We taste thee, O thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon thee still;
We drink of thee the Fountain-head,
And thirst our souls from thee to fill.

Our restless spirits yearn for thee,
Where'er our changeful lot is cast;
Glad, when thy gracious smile we see, Blest,
when our faith can hold thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay;
Make all our moments calm and bright,
Chase the dark night of sin away;
Shed o'er the world thy holy light.

+ + +

In "De amore Dei" (Of the love of God), St. Bernard of Clairvaux describes it thus:

The first degree of love is to love ourselves for our own sake. Some call this the law of self-preservation. Our preservation is important. It is a priority in our life.

The second degree of love is where we love God for our own sake. There have been many moments in our life where we acutely needed God. We get into tight and tough spots, have decisions to make, so we cry to God to help us in our need.

The third degree of love is to love God for His sake. You'll recognize in your own lives that when you begin to love God more and more, and for His sake, that you'll also think of your friends, family and neighbors. That's where the self begins to diminish.

The fourth degree of love, "you realize that you live within the light of God's love. You are part of his program. We have been created, redeemed, and sanctified out of love, so we love ourselves but for his sake. We take care of ourselves out of gratitude for all God has done for us. We show our love for God by being concerned for ourselves as his instruments. If God has done so much for us, then we must guard and cherish his possession to show our love for him. Loving ourselves in the fourth degree is different from loving ourselves for ourselves. Can we get to this fourth degree? I think somehow we can, if we just stay conscious of how much God has done for us."

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Abbot, Doctor of the Church

Pray for us!

Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,
Mike Rizzio, SOLT

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

If you have a few minutes please go to the following sites
and see what I have been compelled to work on since 2004.



I will attempt to answer any and all inquiries at jmjriz@aol.com.


* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for: Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas; St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

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