BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX: DOCTOR MELLIFLUOUS by Henri Daniel-Rops

BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX: DOCTOR MELLIFLUOUS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Why a life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux in this day so radically different in spirit -- even in the Church -- from the one in which the great Cistercian lived? The accomplished biographer-historian Henri Daniel-Rops (Daily Life In the Time of Jesus and Jesus and His Times) amply justifies this new appreciation by showing how the saint's influence through his labors in the order of the white monks continues even today when the Cistercians, and other contemplative groups, are seeing their greatest growth particularly in this country. In addition to sketching the contributions made by this exemplar of total renunciation of the world and surrender of the Christian to God's will, the author summarizes the role of these austere exponents of the complete spiritual life in our time. In typically objective style, the author does not overlook faults and errors. He sees men and actions, whether clergy or lay, as they were and assesses them accordingly. This is indeed a satisfying tribute to Bernard of Clairvaux which casts a new light on the Middle Ages by emphasizing the admirable aspects of renunciation and holiness which Bernard's reforms brought about and which are still operative in monasteries and convents -- the present day's schools of sanctity.

Pub Date: March 26th, 1964
Publisher: Hawthorn